From the Associate Rector
In My Skin and Bones
One of the beautiful things about being part of a liturgical tradition like the Episcopal Church is the way in which the church year follows the life of Jesus, and how the different seasons reflect different moments in the lives of Jesus and the people around him.
So, what happens when you miss part of it? A big part?
I left for parental leave on November 24 (a mere four days before the start of Advent) and I returned to the office last week, just in time to celebrate Mardi Gras, and kick off the season of Lent. When I think about it like that, those two and a half months I was away seem a lot longer than the flash they felt like to me.
I missed out on the liturgical marking of the hope and expectation of Advent, the joy and wonder of Christmas, and the light and signs of the Epiphany.
What I found, being away from my community of practice, is that there was a deep awareness in my heart and in my body of the passing of those seasons, and I was able to notice the hope, expectation, joy, wonder, light and signs of the passing seasons all around me. In the wee morning hours before my son was born, in the look on Andrea’s face when he finally arrived, in the shade of an ancient Redwood tree, in crashing waves and beautiful sunsets on the beach, in the first time I saw McEwen smile, in the precious time spent with family and friends. It was all shot through with holiness.
I have been a practicing Christian in a liturgical tradition for my entire life (minus the requisite wandering period of my young adulthood.) This means that this story, the story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, lives inside of me. Like way down deep. It’s in my skin and bones. My days and nights are oriented around this ancient story in a way that I’m not always aware of, and when I was away from my community of practice, I found that that didn’t change.
I offer this to you, not because I don’t think it’s important to participate in the life of the church, I absolutely do. I offer this to you because all of us have found our communal Christian practice interrupted over the last two years by the Covid-19 pandemic, and for some in our community that interruption continues.
If you’re reading this, and you haven’t yet found a way to reintegrate the communal Christian practice of corporate worship (i.e. coming to church on a Sunday) back into your life, that’s ok.
The story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ speaks in every time and place, and it can’t be contained by the four walls of the church. It lives way down deep inside of each one of us, settled down in our bones with the rituals and rhythms of worship and the words of our favorite hymns and prayers.
So, until you’re ready to come back, trust that that story lives in you, and it has been nurtured and tended by all your years of Christian practice, for just a moment such as this. You have everything you need to bear witness to the gospel in the world around you, to teach the story to your children, and to let it orient your days and nights.
From our Bishop
Bishop Marc Andrus’ Statement on Ukraine
My dear people of the Diocese of California, we know that all of life is deeply interrelated. And as we come to more intimately know and understand any person, any community, we come to care for, to love those people in a way deeply-inbuilt, human way. As Sheila and I have been watching with growing dismay and sorrow the rapidly-unfolding Russian invasion of Ukraine, I’ve witnessed Sheila become more and more overwhelmed with sorrow and shock. Prior to coming to California in 2006, Sheila led a wonderful global health institute at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama. One of Sheila’s closest working relationships was with a university and hospital system in Ukraine. I remember so well the warmth of the friendships that blossomed between Sheila and her colleagues in Ukraine. She came to appreciate their culture — music, food, customs.
I feel closer to Ukraine through Sheila than I would have otherwise, honestly. Yet I know that whether I feel a kinship with Ukraine (and with the people of Russia, too) or not, God has woven us all together. It is up to us to act with compassion and courage, with the tools of prayer, persistence in advocacy, and with reconciliation, in the face of either feelings like those Sheila has, or acting upon our faith in the Dream of God of peace for all people.
For my part, I welcome the use of sanctions by the United States and our Western allies as in accord with the practice of nonviolence. Sanctions are not pacifism, but such measures are meant to be distinct from and preferable to armed conflict. Sanctions are a kind of nonviolence. I urge you to follow the Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations for guides to ways we can be supportive in the public sphere.
In the words of Carl Daw’s hymn, let us pray together:
O day of peace that dimly shines
through all our hopes and prayers and dreams,
guide us to justice, truth, and love,
delivered from our selfish schemes.
May swords of hate fall from our hands,
our hearts from envy find release,
till by God’s grace our warring world
shall see Christ’s promised reign of peace. Amen.
From the Associate for Ministry Development
Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday
Have you ever had dinner in the evening in the courtyard at church?? Now is your chance!
This coming Tuesday night, March 1st, we’ll have a proper party (a party like 2018 sort of thing) for Mardi Gras in the courtyard over jambalaya and pancakes and drinks and games. All/anyone is invited, but we’re asking for a suggested donation of $5 for kids (12 and under) and $10 for adults with a $30 max for families to both help cover the costs of the meal and also to help raise some money for our Youth Immersion trips. We might even have some pancake tossing games for the young at heart 🙂
Then, come back the next day for Ash Wednesday at 7a in the Chapel, or 12p in the church, or 7:30p again in the nave. Our seminarian Dan Carlson will be preaching that day, the Presider will read the bidding into the season of Lent, and we’ll get the chance to receive ashes as a reminder of our mortality.
–Emily Hansen Curran
Save the Dates
March 1, Mardi Gras
March 2, Ash Wednesday
March 6, First Sunday of Lent
April 10, Palm Sunday
Holy Week: April 14, Maundy Thursday; April 15, Good Friday; April 16, Easter Vigil
April 17, Easter Sunday
Join us at 9am, in-person, outdoor service in the courtyard. This service will move indoors if the weather is below 40 degrees at 8:15a, if the AQI is over 150, or if there is rain.
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.
Then join us outdoors 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!
Berkeley Half Marathon
This Sunday is the Berkeley Half Marathon. While we’re stoked that the run has returned to town, it will deeply impact your ability to get to church on Sunday (believe me, I forgot about it one year and it took me nearly an hour to get to church from West Berkeley!). Click here to see the race map and the timing for road closures around town.
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.
Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday
This coming Tuesday, March 1, is Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday! That means it’s time to party. Come out for a jambalaya and pancake dinner, starting at 5:30p in the courtyard (so, dress warm!). We’ll have dinner & drinks, a fire going, and some games to play. Suggested donation is $10 for adults, $5 for kids, $30 max for families. Email the Rev. Maggie Foote for any questions.
Come back out on March 2nd to celebrate Ash Wednesday. We’ll have services at 7a (in the Chapel), 12p in the Nave, and again at 7:30p in the Nave. The 7:30p service will be the only service live streamed that day.
Adult Formation Classes
We have just three classes being offered this Sunday:
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 7:30a. Contact Kate Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org to join that Zoom call.
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 10:10a. This Bible Study meets in the Chapel downstairs or on Zoom. Contact Daniel Prechtel, email@example.com to join that Zoom call.
- Resurrection, part 3 taught by the Rev. Michael Lemaire. This class begins the final part of a three part series on the resurrection. Last spring we explored the range of beliefs that were present in the pagan and Jewish community about life after death. In the second part, we explored the resurrection as reflected in the letters of Paul. In this third and final part of the class, we will take up the various Gospel traditions that tell of the resurrection and look at each Gospel in turn from the empty tomb in Mark, to the encounters of the resurrection at the tomb in Matthew, the Emmaus story in Luke, and finally the story of Thomas in John 20 and the appearance of Jesus on the beach in John 21. It is my hope that this journey together will enrich our faith by clarifying both our questions about the resurrection as well as our hopes in the resurrection. This class will meet on Zoom (click here) and in-person in the Parish Hall, February 6, 13, 20 and 27 at 10:10 am.
Coming up in Adult Formation
Reconsidering Sin and Salvation taught by Dr. Scott MacDougall. Contemporary Christianity in the United States often thinks of sin and salvation in one of two ways: it makes them the absolute center of theology and practice, or it downplays them almost to the point of being invisible. What would happen, though, if we reconsidered sin and salvation? That is, what difference might it make if we thought about them more robustly again in places where they have slipped from view, on the one hand, and if we thought about them differently in places where they are almost the sole focus of attention, on the other?
In this four-part Lenten series, we will reconsider sin and salvation in both of these senses of the word.
- March 6th – “Self and Society” — we will take a theological look at what it means to be a human being in our place and time.
- March 13th – “Sin” – we will use that view of the human condition as a starting point for exploring what the concept of sin does and does not mean.
- March 20th – “Salvation” – we will clarify what it means to say that God overcomes sin, and this will allow us to think together about how this happens.
- March 27th – “Sanctification” – we will address what all of this means in terms of Christian life and practice.
Throughout the series, these reconsiderations will be based on scripture, theology, and the Anglican tradition, in conversation with our own lives and experiences. Scott will be presenting in person and we will also be sharing this via zoom (click here to enter the Zoom call).
Children, Youth, and Family News
Join us this Sunday at 10:00am, for a special story, told by Kim Wong, about some of the history and special saints of All Souls, then join us in the courtyard to help make the clay crosses for Lent!
Youth Group and Office Hours return this Sunday for youth in grades 6-12. Meet in Maggie’s office at 10:00am for a donut and check-in, then join us for youth group from 7:00-8:30pm in the Parish Hall!
Other News & Notes
There is 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.
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!
Check out Season 5, Episode 9 with everything you need to know about Lent!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lenten Soup + Story Groups
It’s that time of year, again! Soup + Story is a small group program that we host during the 5 weeks of Lent. This year, we’re going to offer a few different tracks of engaging our
Soup + Story programming: one in-person in parishioners homes or in the church courtyard (we’ll likely ask for vaccinated & boosted folks only for indoor gatherings, but if you can host outdoors at your home or in the courtyard at church, then that will not be required or advised), one over Zoom, and one individual track. If you’re interested in hosting a Soup + Story group in any of the forms listed above, please contact Emily, email@example.com. These groups will start the week of March 6th and will meet weekly until the week of April 3rd.
What is the Catechumenate? The Catechumenate is a class where we teach about the Episcopal Church in an attempt to give an idea of what this Episcopal church and faith tradition are about. Folks who take this class (called Catechumens) will learn from a number of thoughtful people in this community and hopefully get a glimpse of Episcopal theology, history, and structure, as well as how to use the Book of Common Prayer and some ideas on how to read the Bible. The class will meet on the six Sunday evenings of Lent (March 6-April 10) at 7p in person and on Zoom. All are welcome, even if you’ve been an Episcopalian for a long while. But, if you are looking for an introduction to this tradition or are hoping to be baptized (whenever that can happen), Confirmed, Received, or Reaffirmed into this tradition, this is most certainly the class you’ll want to take. I hope that many of you will join this year’s class as we attempt, together, to wrestle with what it means to be an Episcopal sort of Christian in our world. If you have any questions or would like to sign-up, you can write to Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Episcopal Summer Camps––Save the date!
Interested in Episcopal summer camps for your kids? While registration has not yet begun, the dates have been dropped. Check out the latest with all the dates and descriptions of camps!
The Bishop’s Ranch: click here
St. Dorothy’s Rest: click here
Associate for Music Position
As many of you know, Dr. Jamie Apgar, our beloved Associate for Music, will be leaving us this spring. The job posting for his position just went live today, click here to read about it (or pass it along to a potential candidate!).
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 2022-2023 season. We would love to hear your ideas about:
- What book or books might you recommend for the summer reading group?
- What classes would you like to attend next year?
Suggestions of both topics and speakers are welcome!
Please send your ideas to Anne Yardley (email@example.com) before March 7th. Thanks for helping to shape our communal learning opportunities!