From the Rector

Be Swift to Love

Dear friends, as you may know, earlier this week one of our beloved All Soulsians, Jennifer Boehler, died in her sleep. It has been a sad and difficult week. You’ll find ways to care for the Anderson family and the information about her service is below. Today I’d like to simply reflect on the brevity of life and our Christian response to that reality.

In many of the conversations that I’ve been a part of this week in these days following Jennifer’s sudden and unexpected death, many people remarked about the last visit or text or email or phone call they had with Jennifer. And almost every time that remembrance was followed with something like, “you just never know when you’re going to go, do you?”

And, we don’t. We don’t know the hour or the day of our death. But we often pretend as if we do. Or, maybe more accurately, we often ignore the reality that it will happen, to all of us, perhaps sooner than we are ready for.

It is because of this very realization that we have one of the prayers in our 1979 Book of Common Prayer, an anthem at the start of the Burial Rite II (bottom of p. 492). These words were originally written by a 9th century monk, Notker of the Saint Gall monastery in Switzerland. Thanks to research by eminent liturgical scholar Marion Hatchett, the origin story of this anthem has survived to this day.

One day while Notker was walking a high mountain trail in the Alps he came upon a group of workers constructing a bridge over a deep chasm between cliffs. Seeing the peril that they were facing while fashioning this bridge over a drop of certain death, Notker realized a truth before him––that all of us daily face the peril of the chasm of death, but usually without any awareness of it. Jennifer’s sudden death on Monday awoke many of us to this reality.

And there are many responses to this realization. One that I find to be particularly faithful is distilled in a blessing that we often use in this season of Advent,

“Life is short and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who make the journey with us, so be swift to love, and make haste to be kind; and the blessing of God, who made us, who loves us, and who travels with us be with you now and forever.”

Life is short, friends. And so today, tomorrow, and in the days to come I hope that you will take this blessing to heart. With Mark, Jill, and Carl, and all those who make this journey with us. We do not have all the time in the world, and we do not know when for each of us it will end. But we do know how we can live as we bridge this chasm,

Gladden hearts, be swift to love, make haste to be kind.



In Thanksgiving for the Life of Jennifer Boehler

We are shocked and deeply saddened to share that Jennifer Boehler died in her sleep in the early morning hours of November 30th.  Jennifer was deeply invested in building community, a lot of which happened through her connection to All Souls and her involvement in various small groups and ministries. A memorial service will be held for Jennifer on December 19th at 11:00am, and will be live streamed through our website.  Please pray for Jennifer’s family; her husband Mark, and children Jill and Carl Anderson. A meal train has been set up to support them through this difficult time, you can find information about how to connect with this ministry below in the News & Notes section. May Jennifer rest in peace, and rise in glory.

Youth Tiny House Update

Last Saturday, several All Souls youth families helped prepare 2 Tiny Homes for residents scheduled to live in in the next few weeks.   The houses in the village are in varying states of readiness, so in the spirit of the season there is plenty of waiting and flexibility required! We will be delivering the welcome baskets and welcome home cards closer to the move-in date. Thank you to all the people who contributed to this project.

Advent Practices 2020

Please visit the Advent 2020 page on our website for more information, but here are the details you need to know about the Advent practices in which All Soulsians are participating this year.

  • Lessons & Carols, Sundays at 5:30p on Zoom
  • Taize services on Wednesdays at 7:30p on Facebook live
  • Live Advent Window displays unveiled nightly at 5:45p on Facebook Live


Outdoor In-Person Services on Sundays!

It’s happening. We are gathering in person for the 9am service. You can read more about what you’ll need to know in order to sign-up (and of course, the link to sign-up) on our Regathering page here!

Sunday Live Streaming News

The live stream of Sunday’s 11:15 service can be accessed through our website or by tuning into our All Souls Episcopal Parish Facebook page. Click here to watch on Sunday morning.

Advent Practices (click here for links to all the information!)

  • Lessons & Carols, Sundays at 5:30p on Zoom
  • Taize services on Wednesdays at 7:30p on Facebook live
  • Live Advent Window displays unveiled nightly at 5:45p on Facebook Live 

Adult Formation Class this Sunday

We have two class offerings this Sunday

Reading Between the Lines Bible Study. Contact Daniel Prechtel,, to join that Zoom call at 10:10am. 

The Prophets taught by The Rev. Michael Lemaire on Zoom at 10:10a. 

We live in prophetic times! You need only go to the grocery store to see people with wild untamed hair and parents sporting thousand-yard stares. From pandemic and wildfires to a new reckoning with racial injustice and a bitterly divisive election to say nothing of home schooling, 2020 has been a year of calamity worthy of the prophets. Like them, hate them or maybe a bit of both, the prophets are polarizing figures whose lives and message are full of challenge and hyperbole. This class will turn to the prophetic tradition in scripture to explore what sort of people the prophets were, what kinds of things they cared about, and how we might engage our prophetic imagination to confront our own troubled times. Zoom link here:

Missed the previous week’s class?? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ll be recording all of the Adult Formation offerings and loading them to the Adult Formation page of our website. Click here to get there and access the class recordings. 

Children & Family News

Children and their families can meet in the courtyard at 10:10am for our new in-person Children’s Formation hour. Please be prepared to stay with your children and to keep your children in their own family pod, and also, to be wearing masks. See Maggie Foote ( for more information.

This week we will spend some time talking about the Covid-style Christmas Pageant, which if nothing else, will at least be memorable!  If you didn’t see the announcement in the Pathfinder last week, take a look to get an idea of the vision.  We need everyone’s help to tell the story of Jesus’ birth, and your family has an important role to play! Click here to sign up!

Stephen Ministry: We are here for you!

2020 has been a challenging year, right?! Most of us have been struggling and overwhelmed. You are not alone. Stephen Ministers understand and are available to listen, support and pray for you. We can offer you a confidential caring relationship or an occasional phone call to help you through these ever-changing times. Contact Maggie Foote at (513) 309-1079 or Madeline Feeley at (510) 495-4512 so we can be there for you.

Evening Prayer via Zoom

Here is the link for the Thursday night BCP Compline, which starts at 8:30 PDT: 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 786 3029 4068

Passcode: Compline

Sacred Ground Concluding Call

If you have been participating in the Sacred Ground curriculum this summer and fall, please join us for a call to wrap up this round of the curriculum and to transition us to the work ahead. The call will be Sunday, December 13th at 7:30p-8:30p on Zoom (link here). For more information see your Sacred Ground facilitator or Emily Hansen Curran (


Check out Season 2, Episode 13 of the Soulcast

Ongoing Canned Food Drive

The ASP Food Drive continues to pick up and deliver food for the Berkeley Food Pantry on a weekly basis. Food contributors and drivers participate every other week. Please email Cathy: for more information.

Wednesday 9am Service

Join the Zoom call here:

Meeting ID: 860 8795 1049 Password: 520218

Meal Train

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

Advent Ingathering 

Don’t forget to claim your items for our Advent Ingathering! We are collecting new items for our friends living in camps in Berkeley for the first three weeks. Put your name and the number you are purchasing next to what you are donating and drop it off that Sunday (or the following Wednesday) in the big trash can outside the chapel doors. Week four will be a collection for the Berkeley Food Pantry!

Week 1: 8th and Harrison Wish List:

Week 2: Here/There Wish List:

Week 3: 2nd and Jones Wish List:

Week 4: Berkeley Food Pantry (details to come)


Berkeley Canterbury Advent Speaker Series

This Advent the Berkeley Canterbury (campus ministry) is hosting a speaker series, which started yesterday with Brother John from the Taize community. Coming up are The Rev. Dr. Robert Tobin, Peggy Wehmeyer, and The Rev. Andy Shamel. Email Tom Poynor for more information! 


Our own Ethan Lowery, and field education student, Will Bryant, will be ordained as deacons in the coming weeks!

Ethan’s ordination:

Everyone is invited to tune in to the December 5 online live-stream of Diocese of California ordinations!

When: Saturday, December 5, 3 p.m.

Who: Ordinations to the diaconate for Ethan Lowery, Colby Roberts, and Peter Vazquez-Schmitt; Ordinations to the Priesthood for Liz Milner and Scot Sherman

Link:The liturgy will be live-streamed on the homepage of the cathedral’s website, and on the cathedral’s and DioCal’s Facebook page.

Will’s ordination:

Will Bryant will be ordained a deacon at the Cathedral of All Souls in Asheville, North Carolina, on Saturday, December 12, at 8 am PDT.  Will is deeply thankful to everyone at All Souls Parish for all the support he has received over the last two years. All are invited to watch the ordination as it will be live-streamed on the Cathedral’s website at