From the Rector

Phil Brochard headshot2

The Current Around Us

I was reminded this past week of one of the gifts and privileges of being a priest of All Souls Parish: the current of people that flows in and through this community day by day, week to week, from year to year. For sure, the main of this current is made up of All Soulsians who come week after week, making church together.

And, every week, almost without fail, there are those who join in for the first time. Some have been looking for a church for awhile, others see the beauty of the architecture or hear the music while walking past. But every Sunday there are likely a couple of people praying, singing, holding silence with us who haven’t ever before. Because of our building, our signage, the triptych, our website and social media presence, they decide to step into this part of the stream.

This image of the current coursing through All Souls has likely come to mind because I’ve recently been spending time on rivers. It seems to me that some come to this parish because it is like a deep pool, one that provides a place of rest, a part of the river that has water even in the driest of years. Others have come to know this community to be a rock amidst the churn, a place of stability in times of chaos. And still others come to All Souls because it can be like a coursing rapid, infusing the water around it with life-giving oxygen.

And I suppose what has made me consider the current of All Souls afresh this week was because I was reminded that we are blessed to welcome people into this parish from all over the world, each and every week. Recently the current has brought near to us Brother Clark Berge, the Minister General of the Society of St. Francis, singer/songwriter Ana Hernandez, and Bishop Richard Cheatham of the Diocese of Kingston-upon-Thames in London. For each of them and for scores of others, when the course of their lives brings them to the Bay Area, they come to All Souls to re-connect with people of this parish and to immerse themselves again in this part of the river.

Some of this takes places because of where we have been planted—a few blocks from internationally recognized consortium of seminaries and the university. And some of this happens because we are part of the Anglican Communion, one node in a network of connections that spans continents. And, this also happens because in years past, the people of this parish have welcomed many to these shores, given them respite and hospitality when they were asunder. They were moved by the music, invigorated by the spirit, held by the community.

All Soulsians, what I’m carrying back to you is the gratitude of those who come to this place from far, far away. They have offered me their heart-felt thanks, that when they return to this part of the river, they are welcomed in again with open arms.

So, when you come this or any Sunday, remember to look around, welcome someone new at the Peace, invite another to join you for a cup of coffee or a class that morning. For they are likely to be someone that the swift current of this world has brought us, for a few months, for a couple of weeks, or for just that Sunday. And for that, I give thanks.


From Bishop Marc

stefaniIn thanksgiving for the life of the Rev. Canon Stefani Schatz

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

To our diocesan family,

Our dear friend, my sister in Christ, Stefani Schatz, the Canon to the Ordinary for the Diocese of California, died peacefully on Wednesday, July 12 at her mother’s home in Santa Barbara. Her husband, Joe Duggan, and her mother, Iva, were with her, and she had been in the compassionate care of hospice. I will be sharing the information about Stefani’s funeral at Grace Cathedral when this has been decided by Joe, Iva, and her sister.

Stefani was the first woman to be Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of California. She was a tremendous advocate for women in the Church, having founded the Glass Ceiling Facebook group for women clergy, as a prominent example.

Stefani was warm and attentive to all, at all times. The selfies and the Easter rabbit ears were fun expressions of a loving spirit that was felt throughout our diocese.

Stefani revised Fresh Start and made it Fresher Start, taking a curriculum for clergy in transition and made it responsive to current needs.

The vicars, the priests who serve our diocesan missions, received special care from Stefani. She gathered them monthly, forming a vibrant and mutually supportive community.

Ministries at all levels were encouraged by Stefani. She deepened the prayer life of the working group heads of the diocesan staff, who meet each Monday morning. Because of Stefani, we have been praying for all sorts of needs in the diocese each week — celebrations, people who suffer, congregations in transition.

Stefani encouraged and developed my ministry too. It is fair to say that the Episcopal Church would not be represented through the Presiding Bishop at the United Nations climate change summits if it were not for her. About nine months before the Paris Agreement meeting Stefani said, “Marc, I think you need to be at the Paris summit.” That statement set me in motion, and now we have formal status at the annual meetings and will be, for the third year, taking an active role on behalf of Presiding Bishop Curry.

Stefani’s accomplishments in our diocese in four years were tremendous. Personally, I loved working with Stefani. We worked very hard together and we enjoyed the work. I am so grateful that she and Joe answered the call to come and serve with us in the Diocese of California. The whole staff of the diocese, a wonderful team of dedicated people who work as well together as any staff I’ve experienced, is grieving over this great loss.

Sheila and I have been honored to walk closely with Stefani, Joe, and Iva over this last year since her hospitalization in Scotland. I want to thank her medical team in San Francisco, and I especially want to thank and honor Dr. Karen Khoo, my own physician. I connected Dr. Khoo and Stefani because Dr. Khoo saved my life when I had cancer eight years ago. While she could not cure Stefani, she showed great kindness as well as expertise in her constant care.

I also want to honor and thank Bishop Barry Beisner and the people of Joe’s parish who have supported Joe and Stefani immeasurably. Joe and Iva have become, with Stefani, so courageous and steadfast with one another, meeting each challenge with grace and unconditional love. Finally, I want to thank the clergy and people of the Diocese of California. You have held Stefani in the most luminous web of prayer possible, illuminating the gathering shadows with your love.

Our Mobile Canon is now deep in the heart of God, in God’s unshakeable peace.



O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: Accept our prayers on behalf of your servant Stefani, and grant her an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Parish House Project Enters New Phase:

Parish HouseUpdate this Sunday

The Parish House Project committee is enthused and excited to share news of our recent progress and the next steps as we plan to replace the old parish house.

You are invited to two related events as we engage with the wider community beyond the doors of All Souls. The Parish House project will present an update to the parish this Sunday, July 16th, in the church immediately following the 11:15 service (at roughly 12:45 pm). Two days later, on Tuesday, July 18th, from 5:30-7:00 pm, we will host a community meeting for our neighbors, to announce our plans, show preliminary designs, hear the neighbors’ concerns and gather input to the project. Parishioners are also welcomed and encouraged to attend this gathering, which will be held in the Parish Hall. In fact, we’d love for All Soulsians to come on Tuesday evening, to mingle with our neighbors and show support for the project.

All Souls has partnered with the non-profit affordable housing developer, Satellite Affordable Housing Associates, or SAHA, to replace the Parish House at the corner of Cedar and Oxford Streets with a new building. This building will include 34 units of affordable senior housing, underground parking, and an enclosed courtyard, as well as All Souls office and meeting room space and two residential apartments for All Souls’ use.

Berkeley is suffering an affordable housing crisis, and senior citizens are particularly affected by rising housing costs because often they live on fixed incomes. We aspire to build not simply housing but a community, and we hope this building will serve as a visible sign of outreach to those in need in our city.

All Souls and SAHA have formed a joint venture and are moving into a phase of community engagement that includes:

Building design, incorporating architectural design elements from the existing All Souls buildings;

Community member input on the project from our neighbors by holding two community meetings at All Souls, the first on Tuesday, July 18th, 5:30-7:00 pm and the second on Tuesday, August 29th; and

City of Berkeley engagement, meeting with our local city council representatives and applying to the planning department for permits and entitlements in the fall of 2017. Granting of the entitlements will then enable SAHA to seek funding from federal, state and local sources.

Please join us at one or both of the updates, to learn more details and to have your questions answered.

Introducing Lynette

lynetteMy name is Lynette Parker, your new administrative assistant. I am a native Californian, and was born and raised in the Episcopal Church. I’m a member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Berkeley. I serve as a Liturgical Eucharistic Minister (LEM), and serve in various Lay positions, such as leading prayer and meditation groups.

I live in Oakland with my partner Kathy of almost 14 years, and our tabby clan, Tobey, Tess and Sasha, and our rescue dog Sandy. Kathy and I love to travel. We just returned from visiting friends in France, where we toured around Brittany and visited the incredible Mont Saint-Michel in northern France. Last fall we traveled to Italy where I visited St. Agnes Basilica in Rome, and Spain, where I experienced the fantastic architecture of Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona.

Although, I do graphic design, I have some big shoes to fill following Joy’s years here at All Souls. I am also a fine artist. I work in oil pastel and acrylic mediums. I have shown my art over the years in shows and with Open Studios. And I, also, love to garden in my postage size garden up in the hills of Oakland. I look forward to serving All Souls for many years to come.


On Saturday, July 22nd, all rising 6th-8th grade students are invited to the middle school Angel Island trip. Contact Jess for more information and to RSVP by Tuesday, July 18th at


All rising 9th graders to college first-years are invited to the high school overnight camping trip. The dates are August 19th-20th. Contact Jess for more information and to RSVP by August 5th at


As announced a few weeks back, we have new Hospitality chairs – Beth and Will. They need help with Coffee Hour this summer, and you can help! Please sign up online here or on the clipboard in the Narthex to bring food to share during Coffee Hour. This time on Sundays is a great way to build community and an easy way to get involved here at All Souls. Good food always welcome!


Looking for ways to connect during the week? Find us on Facebook as All Souls Episcopal Parish, or request an invitation to our All Soulsians group. 


If you are interested in getting involved at All Souls by serving during the Eucharist as a chalice bearer, usher, greeter, sound tech, or interested in doing one of the readings on a Sunday, please contact Emily Hansen Curran to ask questions or go through a training. More help is always needed!


Curious to know what that sign out on the Cedar side of the church is about? Each week the prompt on the chalkboard is changed in response to that Sunday’s sermon. If you are interested in submitting a proposal for a new banner of advocacy, please fill out the Triptych Proposal Form found on the website. You can also follow the sign on Twitter @SignOnCedar to see what the community and neighbors are saying in response to the aying in response to the weekly prompts. If you’re interested in helping out with this outreach to the community, contact Emily Hansen Curran.