From the Associate for Music
Friends, most of you know that this Sunday is my last at All Souls. Pondering what I wanted to say to you as my time here came to an end, I thought of my tendencies to choose words carefully and economically (on my good days, at least). I also recalled how hard I worked to craft the message I wrote when I first announced our decision, and that countless musicians over the centuries have taken opportunities to repurpose their best material. So I am simply going to repeat the heart of that message:
“While we have confidence in our decision, it is weighted with the sadness of leaving a place and a people that I love. I had no experience running a church music program; you supported me. I took risks; you were up for just about anything. I made mistakes; when I couldn’t see them, you were willing to point them out. I thought and labored, often over small details; you noticed my intention and effort, even in some of the minutiae I cared most about. I spoke and wrote; you listened, read, and often followed up. I asked for your time, creative energy, and (on occasion) money; you gave, and gave, and gave again. I hold a special place in my heart for the staff and musicians of our parish who have been in the thick of it with me, and have followed me into some challenging and fun places.”
These five years, though filled with difficulty, have been wonderful. Thank you.
I can’t help but close with one last nerdy nugget, one concerning economical use of words, no less. For the last hymn this Sunday, I’ve chosen a setting of a single sentence: “God be with you until we meet again.” I do hope that we’ll meet again. Until then, I’ll offer a more compact version of “God be with you” that has evolved over the centuries: Goodbye.
-Jamie Apgar, (signing off as) Associate for Music
From the Associate Rector
Youth Immersion Trip to LA by the Numbers
As you heard last week, 5 All Souls Youth, along with 2 youth from Christ Church, Alameda and their Associate Rector and I traveled to Los Angeles for a High School immersion trip. As promised, I am here to report back a bit about our experience there.
First, some statistics:
98,916 steps walked (x9 people!)
1016 miles of driving (x2 vans!)
189 combined hours of service
21 boxes of donations sorted (each one was about 5”x5’x5′!)
7 youth participants (with 2 adults)
3 special guests
1 amazing trip
The purpose of the trip was threefold: one, to give youth from our two churches a chance to grow deeper in relationship with one another and their youth mentors, and to foster a community that will continue to develop over the next year as we wrestle with the big questions about life and God. Two, to offer our time and service to an organization that serves unhoused people. Three, to immerse ourselves in the City of Los Angeles; with a particular focus on the glitz and glam of showbiz, and the grit of life on the street, and everything in between.
Overall, by my summation of the stats, we achieved these purposes, and then some. But to have any measure of “success” on a trip like this, first and foremost, the youth participants must enter into the experience with an open heart and mind to whatever each day brings, be flexible, and challenge themselves to step out of their comfort zones. The youth of our trip were exemplary in this regard. Each day brought its own challenges and our youth rose to meet them with a positive attitude, boundless energy, and increasing humor.
I’d like to highlight two moments from the trip that sort of capture the essence of our experience.
On Sunday, we had planned to go to the Getty Center Museum but the day did not go according to plan (don’t worry, we did make it to the Getty eventually.) Instead, after we attended church at All Saints, Beverly Hills, we ventured to the Hammer Museum near UCLA’s campus, where we encountered some really moving exhibits, including an exhibit of protest art. In the evening, we made an impromptu visit to Venice Beach. Everyone was flexible to the last minute change of plans, and because of that, we had an amazing day. We had some great discussions about the art, we took a scenic drive to take in the sights, and ended our day on the beach. Most of the day wasn’t planned ahead of time, but because everyone was flexible and open, we made the most of it.
On Tuesday morning, an LA based chaplain named Jana came and spoke to our group about her work with unhoused people and training lay chaplains. She led us all in an activity called “Breakfast with a Stranger” where the youth paired up in teams of two or three, and sat down and shared pastries and stories with unhoused people in MacArthur Park. This was by far the most vulnerable and challenging thing we asked the young people to do throughout the week, and it turned out to be one of the most special moments of the trip. We spent about 40 minutes in the park listening to the stories of the people there; we learned about their lives, and got to experience what a difference it can make for people to be able to share their story with someone, and feel like they are really listening.
I chose these two stories because they really show the openness and flexibility of our young people to the experience that led to us all having such a wonderful trip. Of course, we did other things as well: lots of serving food and sorting donations at the Union rescue Mission, a visit to the Getty Center Museum, a show at the Hollywood bowl, a visit to the Academy of Motion Pictures Museum, the La Brea Tar Pits, my personal favorite, an LA Galaxy (professional soccer) game, a visit to Santa Monica, and much more.
If you’d like to donate to help cover the cost of this or future immersion trips, that would be very welcome. You can send a check to the church with “youth immersion trip” in the memo line. In gratitude for your donations, the youth who went on the trip have been helping out around the church, cleaning out old offices and will be doing some yard cleanup around the property on Sunday. Thanks so much for your support of our young people, and your commitment to helping them have experiences like this one.
From the Vestry
Notes from your Vestry
The Vestry of All Souls gathered for its monthly meeting on Jul 13th in the Common Room (and on Zoom). Chaplain Nydia MacGregor guided us on a reflection on the story of Marta and Mary, from the gospel of Luke. Nydia talked about the tension between doing and being, especially important work needs to happen in our lives and in our work towards social justice. She invited us to reflect on what busy-ness means to each of us, and whether there is a right kind of busy-ness.
Every month, the Vestry hears from members who work as liaisons to different areas of ministry. This month, Kirk Miller gave an update on Property, which includes the administration, oversight and maintenance of All Souls’ buildings and grounds, and now Jordan Court. The administration and use of facilities has historically been the responsibility of the Parish administrator. Maintenance of our facilities has been done by property committees and groups of volunteers, mostly on an ad hoc basis. In recent years, however, there has not been a chair or a proper committee, and volunteers have been called when needs arise. The addition of Jordan Court and the upgrades that will come from the Living Waters capital campaign have increased the need for the creation of a Property Committee. The Vestry approved a charter for this committee, which will help its launch and recruitment.
The Vestry was presented with a draft MOU for the use of the apartment unit in Jordan Court destined for sabbatical use. Vestry members gave input and some additions need to be made, before final approval.
Senior Warden Melissa Deveraux shared that a Living Waters steering committee has now been formed, led by Patrick Tahara. This will serve as a communications hub for the different pieces of the campaign. An important part of the next steps for the campaign is to continue with congregational listening. The Vestry reviewed the answers given to the survey that went out to the congregation last month. Forty people responded expressing their dreams and hopes for the campaign. There will be another opportunity for the congregation to give input during the Parish retreat, and on the Sunday following the retreat.
As you know, the tithe from the Living Waters campaign, now named the Isaiah Project, will go to local organizations in our community who are aligned with the vision of All Souls. Nathan Brostrom presented a draft charter for the Isaiah Project workgroup, who will develop recommendations on how to direct the funds. Lewis Maldonado has agreed to lead this effort.
Vestry meetings are typically the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7 pm in the Common Room, and meetings are open to all. The next Vestry meeting is on August 17th.
Save the Dates
August 21, Rally Sunday & Blessing of the Backpacks
August 21, Safe Church Training for all keyholders and children & youth volunteers
September 16-18, All Parish Retreat at the Bishop’s Ranch
Join us for worship this week:
- 9am, in-person, indoors
- 11:15am, in-person, indoors. This service will also be live streamed (click here to access the live stream)
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.
Then join us in the Parish Hall 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!
Wednesday 9am Service
Join the Zoom call here, or join us in person in the Nave at 9a. Password: 520218.
Adult Formation Classes
There are two class offering this Sunday:
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 7:45a. Click here to join by Zoom, or join them in-person in the Common Room.
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 10:10a. Click here to join by Zoom, or join them in-person in the Chapel (downstairs at church).
Summer Book Group, Round 2
Join us July 31 and August 7 to discuss Omar El Akkad’s book What Strange Paradise. This compelling story of a nine-year old Syrian refugee who washes up on the shore of a small island and is rescued by a teenage girl. As the blurb says, “What Strange Paradise is the story of two children navigating a hostile world. But it is also the story of empathy and indifference, of hope and despair – and about the way each of those things can blind us to reality.” This group will meet in the Common Room between the 9 & 11:15 services and on Zoom (click here to access Zoom call).
Children, Youth, and Family News
While Sunday School is on hiatus for the summer, there are fun activities planned for children at 10:10 on Sundays in the courtyard! Join us!
Email Maggie for more information about Children, Youth and Family Ministries at All Souls.
Other News & Notes
Upcoming Memorial for Grace Wahlberg
We will remember the life of former parishioner, Grace Wahlberg, on Monday, August 1st at 10:00am in the church. All are invited to attend the memorial.
Now that the 9am service has moved indoors, we’re assembling a pick-up choir to sing a simple anthem each week. You don’t need to vest or attend the Wednesday evening rehearsal, just show up at 8:30 on Sunday morning. If you have questions, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org!
How to access staff & clergy in the new Jordan Court Offices
Wondering how to reach us in the new offices? Here’s how:
- Enter on Cedar & Oxford and press “001” on the call box. This will take you to the church voicemail system. Select the number of the person you are trying to reach and it will call their office phone directly.
- For Annie: press 1
- For Phil: press 2
- For Maggie: press 3
- For Emily: press 4
- For Jamie: press 5
- Once on the phone with the person you are trying to reach, but before they buzz the door open, they will give you a code that you need to either write down or remember as you will need it to enter the stairwell or the elevator.
- Once you have been buzzed into the lobby, head towards the stairs or elevator and use the code you were given to get to the 3rd floor.
- After exiting the elevator or stairwell, turn right and the All Souls offices are at the end of the hall! Voila!
- If you are entering from the church building, you can also access the offices through the gate at the courtyard. You can either text or phone a staff or clergy to get the gate code and then may enter the staff offices either by going up the outdoor stairwell or by entering the Jordan Court building and going up the elevator (the same gate code will get you in the Jordan Court building and the elevator).
Church Office Hours:
Staff & Clergy can be reached Sunday-Thursday by phone/text/or email. Tuesday-Thursday from 10-5p you can find staff & clergy in the office. You can reach an on-call clergy at any time by calling our church offices and pressing “8” for the on-call priest.
All Souls at the A’s Game!
Join us in our annual A’s game outing, on August 19th (with fireworks!) We’ll meet up at 5p in the parking lot for some tailgating and then head into the game together. Please reach out to Don Gates to reserve your ticket (email@example.com). If the cost is prohibitive, please let us know.
Whole & Healthy Church Training
It’s that time again when all keyholders of the church’s keys, and all volunteers who work with children are required to take the Diocesan Whole &. Healthy Church training. To do this, diocesan staff, Caren Miles, will join us after the 11:15 service on August 21st to do in-person training! Lunch will be provided, but please RSVP with Maggie Foote (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Emily Hansen Curran (email@example.com). If you miss this in-person training, you will need to complete the training online. We’re also expanding the church keys to include the key fob code to Jordan Court so that keyholders can also access the staff offices.
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 or just fill out this form (which goes directly to Cathy).