From the Rector
Many Ways to Make Christmas
As cases of the new variant increase, we want to remind All Soulsians near and far of the many ways that we will be making Christmas this year. At a time when it feels like the possibilities of our lives are narrowing, we want you to know that you have options for how to come close to the Christ Child this Christmas.
One option is to participate by attending an in-person service at the corner of Cedar and Spruce. All of our Christmas Eve and Day services will be indoors, with masks required and with windows and doors open. As we have been reminded during the past few days, if you are feeling any kind of symptoms at all––stay home. For those who wish to worship in person, our 4pm service will have the Nativity Story, our 8pm will be a quiet, candle-lit service, and our 10:30pm will have choir and strings. On Christmas Day, our 10am service will also have a baptism.
For those that aren’t able to worship in person, please join in the telling of the story by streaming the 8pm or 10:30pm services on Christmas Eve. Those links can be found on our homepage through the “Services, Live-stream & Bulletin”. There you’ll find the bulletins for Christmas Eve and the first and second Sundays of Christmas. You can stream the 8pm and 10:30pm services through our website by clicking on the video box or through the All Souls page on Facebook. Print out the bulletin, or have it up on another screen and sing and pray along.
We realize that for some worship through a screen leaves a lot to be desired. And, Christmas can still be made. You’ll just need a candle, the bulletin to the 10:30pm Christmas Eve service, and a loved one. If you don’t have a loved one handy in your home, call one up to share the service with them. Dim the lights, let the candle shine and pray, read, and sing your way through the service. What matters is that you tell the story and lean into the Truth of God-With-Us once more.
Lastly, make this a Christmas season where you carry your prayer throughout the twelve days. Daily Prayer for All Seasons is a great guide to prayer at eight times of the day. You can download the pdf of that prayer book here and pray and meditate each day as we lean, now more than most years, in the promise that God is with us.
Christmas Service Times (all services indoors; masks required)
4pm: Eucharist w/the kid’s Christmas Pageant
*8pm: Eucharist w/candles & carols (reception to follow, so please bring something to share!)
*10:30pm: Eucharist w/choir & strings
*these services will be live streamed from our website or on Facebook
10am: Eucharist service w/a baptism
Join us at 9am, in-person, outdoors (masks optional). 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.
Come back at 5p for our Sunday Night Service.
Due to the CDC mask mandate, masks are required for all large indoor gatherings regardless of vaccination status. This also applies to when you visit the church offices during the week. Thank you!
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 just one class being offered this Sunday:
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 7:30a. Contact Kate Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org to join that Zoom call.
Children & Family News
Sunday School will resume between the 9 & 11:15 services on January 9th. That afternoon, the Nicol family will also host our next family hike in Tilden at 3p (exact location TBD).
Other News & Notes
Christmas Eve Reception
We’ll just have one Christmas Eve reception this year, which will take place just after the 8p service in the courtyard, or (if it’s raining) under the covered patio off the Spruce Street entrance. If you’re planning to attend, please bring some cookies or drinks to share!
New Adult Formation Classes
Join us in January for two classes on Health and Healing with Rabbi Jo Hirschmann on January 9 and Rev. Ruth Meyers and Dr. Cynthia Li on January 16. Both classes start at 10:10 am.
- January 9: Contagion and Connection: Exploring Illness, Care, and Community through Leviticus’ Story of the Metzora and the Priest
The book of Leviticus tells us about the metzora, a person with a skin condition (often mis-translated as leprosy) who was considered to have some kind of contagion and was sent outside the Israelites’ desert encampment. During his time outside the camp, this person was visited weekly by the priest, a role that could be considered a prototype of a modern professional caregiver. While the outside-the-camp region may have been isolating and lonely, it may also have been a location for surprising connections and even for holiness. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this story has particular resonance for contemporary readers of the Bible. Through a combination of presentation, text study, and discussion, we’ll explore these sections of Leviticus through the lens of our own lives and experiences.
Rabbi Jo Hirschmann is a chaplain and pastoral educator who serves as the director of Clinical Pastoral Education for the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. With Nancy Wiener, she is a co-author of Maps and Meaning: Levitical Models for Contemporary Care, from which this session is adapted.
- January 16: The Body of Christ: Worship as Healing, taught by Cynthia Li, MD, with Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers. How do we, as a faith community, respond to this world in flux? And how do we begin to experience the healing God offers through Christ during these dynamic times? In this class, we will examine how healing happens, and how Christian worship practices can activate healing in the heart, mind, and body. We will explore Scripture, new science, principles of integrative medicine, and embodied practices. This class will meet on January 16.
You may have missed In-Gathering Sunday, but you can still make a pledge to All Souls for the 2022 year! Head over to the Stewardship Season 2021 page on our website for more information about how to give and to find the electronic pledge card.
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 (email@example.com) or Stephen Ministry Leader Madeline Feely (firstname.lastname@example.org). Our Stephen Ministers are ready to care for you!
No Soulcast this week.
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.
BYOC (Bring Your Own Chalice)
We’re looking to build up a store of reusable chalices so that we can stop using disposable chalices each week for the Eucharist. If you have a few small vessels around your house that you’d like to donate, please bring them and leave them on the back Narthex counter. You can watch this episode of the Soulcast to get a better idea of what we have in mind.