From the Rector
Guide Our Feet
We are getting close, very close to Jordan Court becoming a home for many. After weeks and weeks of rain, we experienced enough dry days to
be able to pour the sidewalk on Oxford Street, and today the sidewalk on Cedar Street. The elevator for the building has finally been inspected. (and found to be sound) The next steps are the connection of the sidewalk to the courtyard and our building, then landscaping around the perimeter of the building and within thecourtyard. It is likely that our first residents will be moving in the first week of February and that the offices for All Souls will be following a few weeks after.
It is kind of unbelievable that after seven years of discernment and prayer and planning and design and negotiation and heartache and grace, that this part of the journey is almost at its completion. Today I’d like to focus on one small part of Jordan Court that has given me great hope––our labyrinth.
In the big picture it is a small detail. It doesn’t provide shelter or come with complex federal, state, and local regulations. It cost a tiny fraction of the $25,000,000 to build this center of housing and support. But after spending time with the builder of our labyrinth, Lars Howlett, this week as he was laying it out, it could not be more appropriate to sit at the center of the space.
As you can hear more about on our Soulcast this week, Lars has a deep knowledge of this ancient tool, a practice of meditation and prayer that stretches back over 5,000 years in human existence. Just watching as he used two ancient tools, a compass and a straight-edge, to set the points and then the paths was at once intensely grounding as well as incredibly energizing. I expect that this labyrinth will be a source of contemplation, discernment and prayer for residents of Jordan Court and members of All Souls for decades to come.
And right now we have an opportunity to take part in the building
of this labyrinth in a very particular way. Whenever Lars builds a labyrinth he offers the people with whom he is building it the oppo
rtunity inscribe prayers and intentions into the space. So he has offered to inscribe prayers in the forms of words or short phrases ont
o the boundaries of the path before he lays down the quartz crystals and resin, which he will lay down tomorrow.
So. Until 10am on Friday the 21st, All Soulsians, I invite you to offer a prayer on this spreadsheet ––again a word or short phrase––for those who will walk this path for the years and years to come. It can be a phrase like “guideour feet Lord,” or simply a word, like, “grace.” At the start and over time our prayers will help form the path for many, many people to walk and be the ground for the next steps of the journey to come. Thanks be to God.
In Thanksgiving for the Life of Joan Blair
On Monday, January 17th, 2022, Joan Blair, beloved All Soulsian, died in the home of her adult children in San Francisco. Surrounded by her children and grandchildren, Joan passed from this world into the embrace of God listening to the cantata that had been played at her wedding to Alec many decades before. She had entered into hospice care in the weeks preceding her death as her health declined, but to the end Joan was caring, loving, and witty. She will be dearly missed by many, and this parish won’t quite be the same without her. One of her last requests was to have a reception with food following her memorial, so her serve will be taking place in mid to late February. Please keep Mary, Peter, John, Anne, and their families in your prayers. May Joan rest in peace and rise in glory.
Support for Congregation Beth El
Dear All Soulsians,
As you know, yet another synagogue has experienced a violent attack this past week. Thankfully their members and rabbi were able to escape, but the fear of attacks and reprisals remains for many Jews in this country, including our friends and neighbors at Congregation Beth El. After conversation with Rabbi Bekah this past week I wrote the following note to their congregation. For those who would like to show support this Saturday, a group of All Soulsians will arrive at 10am before the Sabbath services to show love and support. If you would like to join, please bring a heart as a witness of our friendship and solidarity.
Dear friends of Congregation Beth El,
It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today. As the news broke on Saturday that members of a synagogue in Texas had been taken hostage, my heart broke once again. I am relieved and grateful that members of Congregation Beth Israel were able to escape, and am stunned by the courage and quick thinking that their rabbi and other members showed, but it has once again laid bare the burden that communities like yours have borne and continue to bear.
No one should have to fear coming to worship our God, or to have to take the measures that you all have taken to prevent violent action in your sacred spaces. I remain awed by the strength, courage, and persistence that you all have shown and continue to show. Please know that our prayers, our love, and our support as neighbors, friends, and siblings will continue. We were not meant to walk this path of life alone, that much is clear from our sacred texts and from our lived experience. As for me and our house of prayer, we will do our best to continue this faithful walk with you.
The Rev. Phil Brochard
Rector, All Souls Episcopal Parish, Berkeley
Save the Dates
January 23, Put together welcome baskets for Jordan Court residents after the 11:15 service
January 30, Annual Meeting
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 Compline 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 Classes
We have two classes being offered this Sunday:
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 7:30a. Contact Kate Murphy, email@example.com 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, firstname.lastname@example.org to join that Zoom call.
Coming Up in Adult Formation
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.
Children & Family News
Sunday School for kids age prek-5th grade is moved to Zoom for the next few weeks. Click here to access the Zoom call on Sunday morning at 10:10a. Keep an eye out for the Pathfinder and/or the Children & Family newsletter for updates on when we’ll be back to in-person.
Youth Group, for now, is cancelled, until we can meet again safely (or safer) in person.
Other News & Notes
Jordan Court Welcome Baskets
Come out this Sunday after the 11:15 service to help put together welcome baskets for our new Jordan Court residents (set to move in in the next few weeks). Find everybody either in the courtyard or the Parish Hall.
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!
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.
If you haven’t yet returned your Advent wreath forms, please do so that we can distribute them for next year’s Advent season. You can just bring them to the church with you and drop them off on a counter in the Narthex.