From the Associate Rector
Grit, Intentionality, and Generosity of Spirit
I didn’t expect to receive a text on Friday morning last weekend informing me that there was a problem with the restrooms at the Santa Lucia campground in Big Sur, where a small group of All Soulsians was scheduled to camp for the weekend. After conferring with the other leaders of the trip, we decided that we’d still go, but that we should inform everyone who was signed up to attend the trip of the change of plans (namely that we would be using portable bathrooms, rather than the permanent ones with running water) so that they wouldn’t be surprised upon arrival, and so that they could decide for themselves if they still wanted to come.
Every single person still decided to come.
In the end, we had a great time, and the bathrooms were merely a minor inconvenience for most of us I think. The weekend was full of hikes and card games, swimming and cooking, trips to the beach and casual conversations. As we reflected on our time together on Sunday morning, a common theme was how refreshing it had been to be together, and to have the chance to re-engage with our church community in such a beautiful setting. As I looked around at each person gathered there, it occurred to me that each of us had the option to bail due to a less than ideal facilities situation, but after weighing the options, each of us decided that being together, and taking time for respite and relaxation with our community of faith was more important than having running water in the bathrooms for the weekend!
To me, this feels sort of like the moment we’re in as a church community on the whole. Each one of us could bail. Singing with masks on isn’t the most fun. Navigating the health and social implications of when and where to wear a mask for church functions isn’t easy. Uncertainty about whether a person’s vaccination status should play a part in how they participate in various activities is fraught, at best.
Being the church is hard right now. Being in community is hard right now. Being together, as much as we’ve longed for it over the last 2 years, is just a little harder and more complicated now than it used to be.
Being the church in 2021 is going to require extra measures of grit, intentionality, and generosity of spirit. If our trip to Big Sur last weekend taught me anything, it’s that we have those things, and then some. Everything we need is here.
From the Associate for Ministry Development
As many of you know or might remember I wrote an article when I returned from my sabbatical about a new Sunday Night Service I had been working on. Over the last month or so I have continued to work on this service and some big things have happened, which I thought would be good to share with all of you.
The first big thing is that we finally got the website for the service up and live! If you head over to thesundaynightservice.com you’ll find a live site with information about what this service is and who it might be for. I had NO IDEA writing for a website took so much work, but I have certainly learned a thing or two in this process. Then, you can also find our Instagram handle live as well, @sundaynightservice.
Since writing to you all last, we have also developed a calendar of events, which you can find on the website, but which I’ll detail here a bit as well. First off, tomorrow, Friday, July 23rd, we are hosting a storytelling dinner at my house. Part of who this service is meant to reach are folks who have experienced spiritual trauma, specifically from the Evangelical Church––something that storytelling and listening, and solidarity, can assuage. Right now we have 20 people RSVPd to eat in my backyard and talk about how we as Christian folks have been hurt by the churches we have attended, how we changed our minds and changed courses, and where we hope to find life next. I’ve got to be honest that I assumed we would collect about 5-10 people for this dinner and am stunned to find that so many people are finding us and taking the risk to show up to something they only found online.
Then, from now until November 7th (All Souls/All Saints Day), we’ll host one event per month––a service in August, a service in September, and then another dinner in October. At this time, I would welcome any of you to attend either of these services we have scheduled in August or September. On November 7th, we’ll hope to have the Sunday Night Service team commissioned that Sunday morning in worship, and away we go. It is likely that while we meet every Sunday Night starting in November, we will not have regular worship services every Sunday to start. Instead, we’ll likely alternate each Sunday evening with either a worship service, or a prayer night, or dinner, or small group discussion.
If you have questions about this service or want to meet up for coffee to chat, I would be glad to do that. You can find me at email@example.com. I am grateful for this community who is, once again, taking a risk to start something new. To that end, watch for a class that the Rev. Maggie Foote and I will be co-teaching in August about what it means to plant new churches.
-Emily Hansen Curran
Reflection from Big Sur
Last year, 2020, was our first time on the church campout. It felt like a revelation just to be able to speak to other adults in person for more than fifteen minutes at a time in July 2020. This year, I wondered, would we have the same feeling of communion? The answer, even with porta potties instead of the usual campground plumbing, is a huge “yes.” Twenty-six parishioners shared great conversations, inner tubes, water kettles, Uno games, Bananagrams, s’mores, and sang together around the fire. A bagel was used for the Eucharist–my ten year old whispered “It’s a holy bagel, Mom, get it?” And then he grinned from ear to ear, a smile that I haven’t seen enough of this past eighteen months. Maggie led us on the best 1.4 mile hike ever up to Pfieffer waterfall, and seven children shared gum and felt surrounded by a caring community of their elders. We left with woodsmoke in our hair and full hearts, already dreaming about 2022. –Becca Black
Hymn Singalong this Sunday!
Come out to sing and hang with fellow parishioners this Sunday, July 25th from 4-6p. If you’d like to request a hymn in advance (the only way to request a hymn to be sung), fill out this form. And, of course, feel free to bring some drinks or snacks to share!
We’ll meet on the Spruce Street steps!
Save the Dates
(*see “Other News and Notes” for more info on events)
July 25th, 4:00pm: All Parish Hymn Singalong and Social Hour
August 12, 6:30pm: Young-ish Adults Gathering
August 22: Movie Night
September 10, 6:30pm: All Souls outing to the Oakland A’s Game
September 17-19: Parish retreat at The Bishop’s Ranch
Sunday Mornings: Join us at 9am in the courtyard, in-person.
Or (and!) join us for the live stream of Sunday’s 11:15 service, 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.
Wednesday Mornings: 9:00am PDT
Join us in person in the church, or online!
Join the Zoom call here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86087951049?pwd=THNxbjlqMm5zdjc5RGNLWkFrZk16QT09
Meeting ID: 860 8795 1049 Password: 520218
Thursday Night Compline (Night Time Prayers): 8:30pm PDT
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84737698405?pwd=dlh2OXZmblBYTU5hTEw5TGJXUVZNZz09
Meeting ID: 847 3769 8405
7:30am Reading Between the Lines Bible Study Contact Kate Murphy to join that Zoom call.
10:10am Reading Between the Lines Bible Study Contact Daniel Prechtel to join that Zoom call.
If you’d like to attend this class in person, it will meet downstairs in the chapel at 10:10am.
Adult Book Group discussion of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s A Time for Everything
We’ll meet in both the Parish Hall and on All Souls’ Zoom at 10:10 during the Sunday Formation Hour. Here are the dates and page assignments:
July 25 (pp. 7 – 136) August 1 (pp. 137 – 241) August 8 (pp. 242 – 334) August 15 (pp. 335 – 499)
Missed the previous week’s class?? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ll be recording all of the Adult Formation offerings and loading them to the Adult Formation page of our website. Click here to get there and access the class recordings.
Children, Family & Youth News
Believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about the fall and Children, Youth, and Family programming at All Souls! In order to help us plan the best and most holistic programming for children, youth, and families, it is important to know a little bit about the children, youth, and families we’re hoping to serve. To that end, please fill out this form to help us get to know you and what sorts of programs you and your family may be interested in. Please submit one form per family, and all families with children from babies through high school age are encouraged to participate using this same form. Not only will this help us get some feedback about the types of programs you’d like to see, but it will also serve as a sort of registration for fall programming, so the contact information you provide here will help us get information to you in the fall about upcoming programs and events.
If you’d like to receive updates about this, but do not subscribe to the Family Bulletin, please email Maggie Foote (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Other News & Notes
Soulcast: Our Weekly Video Announcements
Check out Season 4: Episode 1 of the Soulcast!
September 10, 6:30pm: All Souls outing to the Oakland A’s Game
We’re heading to an A’s game together and tailgating before the game on September 10th. Sign-up with Don Gates (email@example.com) to get a spot for the game. Sign-up soon as we need a head count sooner than later.
People needed to “Make Church Happen”
Consider joining the Usher and or Greeters teams!
During the week the musicians practice and the sacristans ensure the altar linens and other things necessary for the service are in order for the service. They arrive early on Sunday and set up for the service. These preparations enhance our experience of Church. When we arrive on Sunday morning there are people who greet us, hand us a bulletin, and make note of newcomers then distribute wine and juice during the service. They answer our questions, help us with a chair and place to sit. They welcome us and want us to feel at home.
Does this sounds like something you’d like to do? If so, contact Renae Breitenstein.
Lectoring & Intercession on Sunday Mornings
If you are interested in becoming a Lector or Intercessor (the folks who read the bible passages and lead the prayers during the Sunday morning services), come to our Lector & Intercessor training next Sunday, June 13th between the 9 & 11:15 services. Dr. Scott MacDougall will lead a short training for anyone interested. For more information, see Emily, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday Morning Tech Help
If you are technically inclined and looking for a way to help out on Sundays, we can use the help! Mostly we’re looking for a sound tech or two, and perhaps another person or two to learn how to operate the camera. All roles come with training and great company :). See Emily for more info, email@example.com.
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!
Ongoing Canned Food Drive
In the before times, bringing a can of vegetables or a jar of peanut butter to church was the practice of many, and every few weeks all this would add up to three or four bags of groceries that I would deliver to the Berkeley Food Pantry. Obviously when in-person church services stopped, so did the influx of food. All Souls Parish made quick and creative adjustments; without missing a beat, folks had signed up to put a bag on their porch every other week for a driver to pick up and bring to the pantry. There were perhaps two dozen households contributing, and four or five drivers so that on any given Friday, between five and 10 bags of groceries were delivered to the pantry. More than a year later, we need wider participation. Drivers have had to make adjustments , and perhaps having the same folks providing the groceries every other week is not sustainable. Please consider offering a bag of groceries for pick up every other week, and/or sign up for any every other week driving shift to pick up from 5 or so households. Contact Cathy Goshorn, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Correction to last week’s Soulcast
Scott MacDougall was interviewed on the Soulcast last week. In it, he mentioned that only bishops with jurisdiction are members of the House of Bishops. This is a mistake and he wants to correct it. Retired bishops and other types of bishops are also members of the House with voice and vote. What he was thinking of was that only bishops with jurisdiction consent to the election of other bishops. He apologizes for the mix-up!