From the Rector

The Common Cup

It is hard to believe that we are at the three-year anniversary of this COViD pandemic. It both feels like almost yesterday that our common lives dramatically shifted, and at the same time, like decades have passed in just three years. As I’ve been reflecting on the changes, small and large, since March of 2020, I’ve once again been heartened by the perseverance, resiliency, and faithfulness of this congregation.

As we slowly emerged from the severity of sheltering in place, we carefully and consistently built back our practices. After solely streaming services with a skeleton crew, our first step was to meet outside for worship in the courtyard, then distanced and masked inside without the congregation singing, then masked and singing, then being able to be closer than six feet apart, and finally all services inside with masks optional, with occasional and intentional outdoor worship. And, all of these changes took place while simultaneously streaming at least one service online every week since March of 2020.

Along the way, as the immediate threat lessened, we’ve begun to add back in more of our communal practices––more sacristans, a wider group of lectors and intercessors, the fuller group of musicians, greeters, and acolytes. Our healing ministers are just starting to pray with folks on Sundays and our Eucharistic visitors are not far behind. Our rota (the complex calendar where all of these roles are shown) is becoming more populated to reflect these additions, though there is still room to serve in several of these areas.

At each stage of the pandemic, when we’ve been confronted by the limits of public health directives and diocesan guidelines, we’ve asked ourselves, rather than just seeing what we can’t do, what are the ways we can practice the faith we’ve known, together?

One of our earliest decisions was to continue to celebrate the Eucharist every Sunday, even if only two people could physically consume the elements, one with the bread and one with the wine. Over time, as restrictions were lifted, everyone was able to receive the bread, but our diocesan guidelines did yet not allow for a core practice of the Episcopal Church––the sharing of the common cup. 

Some congregations opted to simply distribute the bread, as Christian practice has long held that receiving in “one kind” is sufficient. Thanks to an idea from a participant in our Wednesday 9am Eucharist, we chose to share the wine and grape juice using small cups, or as they’ve become known, “wee chalices.” It was a creative and faithful response to the challenge in front of us and soon All Soulsians began scouring thrift shops for small vessels, bringing in a wide variety of cups from home, and the sounds of shattering chalices were occasionally heard in our services.

We now have come to the next stage in recovering former practices as we emerge from this pandemic, the sharing of the common cup. This Sunday, the first Sunday in Lent, we will resume this practice, alongside the practice we’ve had of using wee chalices. We are returning to the practice of sharing the common cup because it offers us a powerful glimpse into the practice Jesus initiated at his final meal with his disciples––that we are united with God and one another, powerfully known as we share this cup together. The Cedar side of the altar rails will communicate wine with the common cup, and the Courtyard side of the altar rails will communicate with the wee chalices. Grape juice will continue to be communicated with wee chalices by the first pillar on the courtyard side for the time being. 

My sense is that there will be a wide variety of practices, as some have been ready for the common cup for months now, while others may not be ready for some time. And, I trust that the same adaptability and steadfastness that I’ve witnessed over the past three (as well as almost fifteen) years will be seen in the weeks and months to come. Sunday by Sunday, around the Table we will find a way to share in the feast, together. 



Stations of the Cross Now Available in the Nave

Next time you’re at the church, be sure to visit the Stations of the Cross now available in the Nave!

Building Bridges Returns

Sunday, March 5, 2023 • 12 Adar 5783

Congregation Beth El, 1301 Oxford Street, Berkeley

2:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Prior to the pandemic, members of All Souls began meeting regularly with fellow Berkeley communities Congregation Beth El and St. Paul AME Church. We started with lunches, and over the years have shared ritual and prayer, the building of tiny houses, text discussions and speaker presentations. After many months, we are thrilled to be coming back together again to view and discuss the film Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Life.

The film documents Pittsburgh, PA’s powerful community response to hate and antisemitism in the aftermath of the deadly attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in 2018 that killed eleven people. For three years the film follows survivors, families of the victims, diverse community members, students and civic leaders as they examine their vulnerabilities and the impact of rising antisemitism, racism, hate speech and gun violence. Against the backdrop of a tumultuous period in the country, a local community that has faced violence and trauma works to heal and grapple with what it means to be stronger than hate. Click here to view the film trailer.

This event will be mixed presence (Zoom and in-person), with light refreshments available for those attending in person at Congregation Beth-El.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 820 7970 1535

Passcode: 436856

Sacred Earth: Growing Beloved Community Webcast

Celtic Roots for Justice in Action with John Philip Newell

When: Wednesday, March 1, 2023 7:00 PM

Where: Zoom

Register here

Join us for the next episode of Sacred Earth: Growing Beloved Community where leading spiritual teacher John Philip Newel in conversation with Bishop Marc Andrus and Dr. M. Paloma Pavel shares how Celtic spirituality—listening to the sacred around us and inside of us—can help us heal the earth, overcome our conflicts, and reconnect with ourselves.

His latest book, Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul: Celtic Wisdom for Reawakening to What our Souls Know and Healing the World, reflects on the long, hidden tradition of Celtic Christianity. He explains how this earth-based spirituality can help us rediscover the natural rhythms of life and deepen our spiritual connection with God, with each other, and with the earth. John Philip’s text traces mystics and seers, Celtic Christianity’s leading practitioners,  saints and pioneers of faith, beginning with Iranaeus in the 2nd century AD, who preached on matter as coming from the Womb of God, as Sacred Utterance. Nine other eco-mystics follow, including Hildegard, St. Francis, Teilhard de Chardin, and John Muir. Newell explains that when the church “got in bed with the Empire” in the 4th century, the dominant creation theology had become matter from nothing, “Ex Nihilo.”  Matter was seen as exploitable, separate, not sacred. Newell explains that when the church “got in bed with the Empire” in the 4th century, matter lost its spiritual foundation. This occurred when the dominant theology of creation became “Ex Nihilo”, from nothing. Today we are alienated from Mother Earth and yearning to come back, to hear the ‘resounding’ of the Divine from within everything and every being. The Celtic path offers hope and possibility for this restoration and regeneration.

The music of Cameron Newell, son of John Philip Newell, will grace our evening, providing traditional Scottish fiddle music inspired by the land and history. 

Each episode of Sacred Earth includes music and a spiritual practice as well as evocative teaching with a chosen leader. We welcome you to our series. Register now. And in the spirit of Growing Beloved Community, we invite you to invite a friend and help grow our community of contemplation and action. 

Visit  to view previous videos. 

Save the Dates

  • February 26, Catechumenate (Sundays in Lent)
  • March 1, Lenten Contemplative Service + Soup Supper (Wednesdays in Lent)
  • March 5, Breaking Bread, Building Bridges Event

Weekly Worship

Join us for worship this week:

Join us for worship this week:

  • 9am, in-person, indoors 
  • 11:15am, in-person, indoors. (click here to access the live stream)
  • 5p, the Sunday Night Service, in-person, indoors, in the Chapel.

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. 

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

  • Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 7:30a. Click here to join by Zoom, or join them in-person in the Common Room.
  • Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 10:15a. Click here to join by Zoom, or join them in-person in Phil’s old office, (now called the Shadrach Room).
  • Metaphors We Live By taught by the Rev. Michael Lemaire, February 26, March 5, 12, and 19 in the Parish Hall and on Zoom (click here to enter Zoom call). Metaphors shape our understanding of the world by describing one thing in terms of another. Metaphors are pervasive in our language but we often miss how they both enrich and limit our understanding. This is especially true when it comes to religious language that seeks to describe a world unseen. In this class, we will explore how metaphors function in our daily communication, how metaphors shape our understanding of ourselves, how Jesus used metaphors and in some ways is himself a metaphor of God, and how metaphors can become idols. The goal of the class is to both liberate and enrich our God talk so that we can better find the needed images and metaphors of God that will serve us through the various seasons of our spiritual life. 

Adult Formation Committee wants your input! 

The Adult Formation Committee is in early stages of planning for the summer reading group and the calendar for the 2023-2024 season. We would love to hear your ideas about: 

  1. What book or books might you recommend for the summer reading group? We encourage books by authors of diverse background that lend themselves to a religiously focused discussion. 
  2. What classes would you like to attend next year? Suggestions of both topics and speakers are welcome! 

Please send your ideas to Anne Yardley ( before March 7th.  Thanks for helping to shape our communal learning opportunities!

Children, Youth, and Family News

Sunday School This February, we begin a unit about how to be a good friend with some skills adapted from the Stephen Ministry Class that was offered for adults in the fall. This series will be led by Madeline Feeley and Grace Telcs. Class gathers in the courtyard at 10:10am.

Faithful Families there will be no official faithful families in February due to Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, but all families are encouraged to attend the Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday celebration on Tuesday, February 21st!

Email Maggie for more information about Children, Youth and Family Ministries at All Souls.

Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) 2023 – July 4-8

The deadline to register is March 8!

This summer high school teens from all over the world will gather at the University of Maryland, College Park, for a three-day experience. The Episcopal Youth Event or EYE (pronounced ee-why-ee) is the single greatest and second largest gathering the Episcopal Church does.

The Diocese of California has been saving up for this event and will be able to significantly help get our youth and the chaperones there and back again. We ask each youth (and chaperone) to cover the $400 registration fee for each person. This includes your meals and lodging and all the program stuff. The Diocese will be paying for airfare and travel between the airport and the University.

More info available HERE or HERE or email Caren Miles

Episcopal Summer Camp Registrations are Now Open!

Episcopal Camps across the country are starting to open for registration, including the Diocese of California’s not one, but TWO summer camps: St. Dorothy’s Rest, and The Bishop’s Ranch. You can find more information about the dates, age ranges, and cost for each camp at the links below:

St. Dorothy’s Rest

The Bishop’s Ranch

Other News & Notes

Lenten Contemplative Weekly Services + Soup Supper

This Lent, rather than Soup + Story, we’re going to host contemplative services at the church following a soup supper in the Parish Hall. Each week we’ll focus on a different contemplative practice, around prayer, led by different parishioners at All Souls. Each week will also have parallel kids programming so that the entire family is welcome to join! We’ll start into dinner around 5:30 and into the prayer practice at 6:30, ending each night around 7p. More information to come! If you’re able, please sign-up to bring soup! You can do so through this link (click here).

Celebrating Ross Laverty

This Sunday is the final Sunday that long-time (59 years!!!) parishioner of All Souls and faithful member of the choir, Ross Laverty, will worship with us before a move out of town. Head over the Parish Hall after the 11:15 service where the Spaghetti Again Men’s Dinner group will provide food and snacks to celebrate Ross. All are welcome. Sigh.

Online Giving

If you are looking to set up your pledge for 2023, you may still do so by clicking on this form. There is also a super easy way to give to All Souls––for either a one-time donation or for your ongoing pledge––that is through an app called Vanco Mobile (what used to be called GivePlus). You can find this app through the app store on your phone. Once downloaded, search for All Souls Episcopal Parish and you’re in! If you’d prefer not to download the app, you can just as easily give online through our personalized online donation page by clicking here

Flowers on Sundays at Church

If you are interested in dedicating the flowers in the Church on Sunday mornings to a loved one or a particular remembrance, please fill out this form and indicate which day you would like to contribute the flowers and what you would like the dedication to say. The dedication will appear in our announcement sheet on the Sunday you have selected. The suggested contribution for flowers is $75, which can be paid to All Souls either electronically or by check (see the giving page on our website for more information there), and be sure to write in “flowers” in the memo line.

Please contact Maggie Cooke for any questions,