From the Associate Rector
Episcopal Youth Event
At the forefront of my call to ordained ministry, since the beginning, has been a call to work with children and youth in the context of the Christian faith. I have been lucky enough in each place that I have served to be able to build relationships with children and youth of all ages and lots of different backgrounds. I consider working with children and youth to be the primary focus of my priestly ministry, the rest is just dessert.
Over the years, I have led summer camps, youth retreats, immersion trips, after school programs, youth groups, Sunday School, Children’s Chapel, Confirmation Classes, and so much more. One of the most unique experiences that I’ve had working with youth in the church was being an adult mentor on the design team for the Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) in Oklahoma City in 2017.
EYE is a triennial event that’s planned by and for youth across the entire denomination, including the entire United States, Province IX which includes much of Central America and the Caribbean, and the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe. This makes EYE an international event, and the second largest event in the Episcopal Church, second only to General Convention. EYE is like a cross between a conference, and a huge family reunion. Around 1500 youth and their adult leaders will gather for lively worship, keynote speakers, workshops, fun & recreation, and a chance to get to know others from around the Episcopal Church. You can watch a short video about the most recent EYE here.
In 2020, EYE had to be canceled due to Covid, but guess what? It’s BACK! EYE23 will take place July 3-8, 2023 in College Park, Maryland. I will be serving again as an adult mentor on the design team. So, what exactly does that mean? I will attend four meetings (the first is coming up later this month, August 15-19) where I will work with a team of high school students and other adult mentors to plan various parts of the event, then during the event itself I will support my youth team as they do the behind the scenes work of hosting the large event.
EYE is a wonderful opportunity for youth to get to know the Episcopal Church in a new and more expansive way. When I attended in 2005 as a high school student, I was blown away not just by the sheer number of people in attendance, but also to learn that there were Episcopalians in Ecuador, for example! At the event in 2017, then newly consecrated bishop of Indianapolis, The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, gave a standing-room only presentation about non-violent communication that had kids buzzing for the rest of the event.
If you’re in high school (or can pass this message along to someone in high school), and have any interest in helping to plan this event, the design team is still taking applications for youth members until August 12. You can apply here. If it sounds fun, but you don’t want to help plan it and just want to attend, stay tuned for more information in the months to come about how to attend as a part of the delegation from the Diocese of California.
I welcome your prayers for the design team as we gather in a couple of weeks, and as we work to make EYE23 one for the books.
From the Associate for Ministry Development
Come out on August 21, for the Blessing of the Backpacks and Rally Sunday! What is the Blessing of the Backpacks? And what is Rally Sunday?
First, the Blessing of the Backpacks is a moment during the Sunday service when those who are heading back to school, or work, or some other venture this year bring forward a token to be blessed: backpacks, or laptops, or pencils, (or ??). Why would you do this? Because beginning again is a notable moment in life, and when we pray over these tokens, we give them to God and acknowledge our hopes for what will come. It’s also something that we do together, remembering that we do not walk this road alone. When Covid strikes this year or when childcare fails, we look to each other for help because (say it with me) we make church together.
Second, Rally Sunday. This happens between the two services (around 10:15a) in the courtyard, and it’s the moment when we launch our program year. This means that we’ll announce the Adult Formation class schedule for the year, kick-off Youth Group, and kick-off Sunday School for kids. We’ll also have donuts from Dream Fluff! But, why, outside of the best donuts in the bay, would you make a special effort to come out for Rally Sunday? Well, for starters, Rally Sunday is fun and there is a lot of energy bubbling around (and Lord knows we all need that good energy right now). But also, because our formation and re-formation as Christians matters to who we are and how we live out our faith in the world, moreover it matters that we do this together. When we show up for these big moments as a congregation, and this one specifically about our formation, we collectively receive all the voices who will (with great trepidation) shape us this coming year. As with the Blessing of the Backpacks, being present for this launch is an expression of our hope for what will come this year.
But wait, there’s more! Many of you might not know, but we’re in the process of revamping our church website (some of the technology behind the site is so outdated that we are unable to update basic information on the site without great financial cost). In beginning this process of making a new site, we have realized that we need images of the All Soulsians who are here now (it’s been six or so years since we last had pictures taken of us as a parish, and as you can imagine in the last six years we’ve seen quite a bit of change). And so we’ve hired a photographer to come out and take pictures of us worshiping, eating donuts, enjoying each other, etc., and they’ll be coming out on Rally Sunday! We realize that not all of you would like to have your picture taken, and so prior to August 21st (and on the 21st) we’ll have a way for folks to opt out of having their pictures taken.
This is an exciting year ahead and we anticipate that you all will come out and hope with us for what is ahead.
Save the Dates
August 19, All Souls at the A’s Game
August 21, Rally Sunday & Blessing of the Backpacks
August 21, Safe Church Training for all keyholders and children & youth volunteers
September 16-18, All Parish Retreat at the Bishop’s Ranch
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.
Adult Formation Classes
There are three class offerings 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).
- Summer Book Group @10:10a in the Common Room and on Zoom (click here). We’ll be discussing What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad.
Coming Up in Adult Formation
Our first set of classes starts 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.
Observing the Season of Creation in congregations, 2022
Zoom Workshop on resources: August 11, 2022, 4:00 – 5:00 PM
The Season of Creation is an annual celebration of prayer and action to protect creation, celebrated by Christians of all traditions. Bishop Marc Andrus is part of the Season of Creation Advisory Committee, and he, along with other faith leaders, encourages religious communities to participate through events, service, and worship.
The season begins September 1, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and runs through October 4, the Feast of St. Francis, who is the patron saint of ecology in many traditions. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Listen to the Voice of Creation”.
On Thursday, August 11, Amy Cook and Dr. Paloma Pavel are leading a one-hour workshop to introduce the materials for the season as well as share further resources and community actions around caring for all of God’s creation. Please register for the workshop here.
Please contact Amy Cook (firstname.lastname@example.org) by August 5 if you are interested in having Spanish language interpretation.
More information about the season can be found here: https://