FROM THE RECTOR
This time of the year is always a challenging one for me ever since I’ve come to All Souls. Because every year, right at this time, we have to watch people head for somewhere else. It’s part of the bargain, of course, being a couple blocks from both the University of California, Berkeley, and the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. We are fortunate to be in a context where people from around the country and across the globe come to study. And whether it is for just a few weeks, or for several years, we are enlivened by their presence, changed because of their participation in this body.
And, then comes the month of May. When people commence. And every year we absorb the loss of these friends, as they head off to their next adventure. Sigh. And. I have also come to realize that in this practice of welcoming in and incorporating people who will be among us for a bounded amount of time, that All Souls Parish exercises one of its essential charisms, or gifts. It is the gift of helping people find out who they are.
We see it in many ways. One of them is in the number of people, who, through their study on campus and their growth at All Souls, embrace their vocation to research or teach, lead and guide. We also see it in the folks who realize that the studying they are undertaking is not what feeds their soul. And so we help them find what really does.
One of the more visible aspects of this charism is seen in the raising up and formation of ordained leaders. It is stunning, the number of deacons and priests that have emerged from this body over decades. Yes, this is in part because of our proximity to CDSP and the School for Deacons, but even outside of their gravitational pull, it seems that this congregation has a particular gift in recognizing this way that the Spirit moves.
Right now we are witnessing this movement in abundance. Next Saturday, June 10th at 3pm at Grace Cathedral, Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski will be ordained a deacon, as he prepares for ordination to the priesthood. All Souls served as a ground for this discernment while Dan was a professor at CDSP and has been in conversation with him, even as he, Jen, Greg, and Miri decamped for the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. It is with great joy that we will welcome all four of them back on Sunday, June 11th.
And, remarkably, this past year we have been in vocational discernment with eight other folks for Holy Orders. Ethan Lowery is headed to CDSP this fall, and the Vestry has nominated four other All Soulsians to officially begin their discernment: Dani Gabriel and Ari Wolfe to the diaconate, and Tripp Hudgins and Nikky Wood to the priesthood. Three others have been in more informal discernment, in conversation to recognize where they are being drawn and led.
This charism is seen in another way at this time of year––the seminarians that have been present throughout the academic year shift into other ways of learning. Nikky Wood has finished her field education with us, though she’ll remain as a member of All Souls for her final year of seminary and as she engages the formal discernment process. Aaron Klinefelter will be engaging in one more year of field ed with us next year, and will be joined by Allison Fischer, from the Diocese of San Joaquin, this fall. And, again because of the formational nature of this parish, Marguerite Judson will be joining us in June for at least six months as she engages in her formational transition from the diaconate (she’ll be ordained with Dan J-S on June 10th) to the priesthood. You’ll read more about Marguerite in the Pathfinder in the weeks to come.
One of the truths of charism is that these gifts require grace. Grace to receive what comes our way, grace to be open to who that person is, and grace to walk with them with honesty, compassion, and truth. What is clear to me as I’ve seen All Souls engage this charism over the years is that this vocation, like every vocation, has made more of all of us in the process.
From the Parish House Project Group
An Update for late May 2017…
For more than three years, we’ve been exploring what to do with our decrepit Parish House and the lot it stands on. Faced with three options — refurbishing the Parish House as it is; tearing it down and building market-rate housing; or tearing it down and building affordable housing, along with new parish offices — the Vestry voted two years ago for the third option, as the one most aligned with our mission. And now things are just about to get more real.
All Souls has agreed to work with Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA) to develop affordable housing for low-income seniors on our property. Legal agreements that define the rights and responsibilities of both parties were drafted with the assistance of Bob Cross and Kirk Miller of All Souls. The Vestry approved the agreements in late April, subject to approval by the Bishop and Standing Committee of the Diocese, which was given in early May. As a result, All Souls and SAHA are entering into a partnership which will lease the property from All Souls, obtain necessary planning approvals and seek financing to develop the low-income housing project.
SAHA and All Souls can now pursue fleshing out the architectural design and applying for city permits. SAHA has hired the architectural firm HKIT to design the project, subject to approval of major decisions by All Souls. Caitlin Lempres Brostrom and Kirk Miller, architects and All Soulsians, are working with Paul McElwee of HKIT to refine the design to coordinate with key architectural motifs from the church building.
We need to have a near-final design in order to apply for city permits, which are a prerequisite to applying for funding through private and public sources, including City of Berkeley and Alameda County funds through successful low-affordable housing referenda approved by the voters last November.
We are now reaching out to residents in our immediate neighborhood to inform them about our plans and get feedback, in order to incorporate their concerns in the final design. Toward that end, we will hold an initial Open House the evening of July 18th.
Father Phil has already contacted the three Berkeley City Council members whose districts converge on our corner and, more importantly, contain our neighbors’ homes, in order to apprise them and win their support. We’re sending letters to the neighbors who live closest to the Parish House property, offering to meet with them and share our plans. Next, we’ll cast a wider net and send letters to neighbors within a 500-foot radius of the property, inviting them to the July Open House.
If the prospect of contributing to new affordable housing in Berkeley excites you, you may be thinking, “How can I get involved?”
Well, if you have friends who live or work near All Souls, talk with them about our mission and our desire to help house members of the wider community. Invite them to our Open House, and if they have questions before July 18th, please give them our email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, or ask them to talk with me (Mary Rees), Margaret Sparks, or Nancy Pryer.
Introducing our Transitional Deacon
Introducing Our Deacon: Marguerite Judson
Raised as a Unitarian-Universalist on the East Coast, I became a Christian at 20 years of age and settled in the Episcopal Church after completing an academic Masters at Virginia Theological Seminary in 1977. I’ve lived in the Bay Area since then; I was a community organizer first around preventing alcohol problems and then focused on increasing access to financial services. I found my way into fundraising for a fruitful 20+ years. My life has gone through many changes since I moved to Berkeley in 1979: coming out of the closet, losing my daughter, beginning and ending a new family – which took me to San Francisco for a decade – and landing my ideal job at Cal in 2006.
My family joined All Souls when we arrived in Berkeley while Bill Clancey was Rector (and we rented an apartment in the Parish House!). When I came out in 1983 I ceded All Souls to my ex and started attending St. Mark’s. I was very active there: at the altar, in the choir, on the precursor of the Diocesan Recovery Ministries Commission, in the Social Justice committee, co-founding an intercessory prayer group and serving as Senior Warden. In 2013 I officially embarked on the path towards ordination to the Priesthood. I completed a Certificate in Anglican Studies this May at CDSP – taking the practical courses which I skipped at Virginia Seminary, while working half time at Cal – and will be ordained to the transitional Diaconate at Grace on June 10th at 3pm. I am deeply honored to serve as your Deacon beginning in mid-June and I am delighted by this homecoming into a community which has been growing stronger and stronger over the decades.
WELCOMING NEW MEMBERS
On May 21st, we welcomed 21 new members into the All Souls family. Today and in the coming weeks, we’ll hear from many of them.
I grew up in Wisconsin, but I have lived in the Bay Area for the past 30 years. I was a graduate student in English at Cal, and since 1995, I have worked at San Francisco University High School, an independent 9-12 day school, where I teach English and serve as the Academic Dean. At UHS, I met Rebecca Whitney, who became a dear friend and who introduced me to this parish. I join you after a bit of a spiritual hiatus. As a teenager, I participated at First Presbyterian Church in Beloit, Wisconsin, and I returned to that church every year for decades to sing in the choir on Christmas Eve. First Presbyterian closed its doors about five years ago, and ever since, I’ve felt a growing longing for a church community here in Berkeley…I am delighted to be a new member of All Souls!
– Kate Garrett
Retirement Extravaganza on June 4th
Joy Shih Ng, our fearless and beloved Parish Administrator is retiring after 18 years! We want to celebrate her faithful service, thank her, and send her off with our best wishes. Plan to gather between services on Pentecost, June 4th for a festive brunch and a celebration send off. Please mark your calendar and bring food to share!
SUMMER BOOK CLUB
All Souls Reads About Joy Together!
On Sunday, June 18th in the Parish Hall, the Rev. Michael Lemaire will lead the first of eight group discussions of The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World during the formation hour after the 9:00 a.m. service. The book begins with thoughtful conversations between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama about what keeps us from being joyful, then moves into explorations of the attitudes and practices of heart and mind (such as humility, humor, acceptance, forgiveness, compassion, gratitude) that can bring more joy into our lives. This delightful book and its ideas are suitable for All Soulsians of just about all ages—no doubt we could all use a little more joy in our lives!
Please come whenever you can. Each week will have a different leader and will focus on a different section of the book, but the questions and ideas are so engaging that the discussions will be easy to join. Copies are available at the Berkeley Public Library and in paperback and e-books for about $14. Contact Stephan Quarles if you’d like to borrow one of the copies the parish has purchased for our use. Please join us!
ALL PARISH PICNIC IN TILDEN
Church in the park and then some! We’re looking forward to bringing our 11:15 amservice to a beautiful spot in Tilden on Sunday, June 11th. After an open-air Eucharist we will continue the feast with a potluck picnic lunch, games and fun. Start training for the 3-legged race and brace yourself for the balloon toss! There will also be 7:30 and 9:00 am services at All Souls.
In past years this has been a really fun event but everyone has to contribute to make it work. Here’s a bunch of things to remember:
• Bring food to share—either grillables (including buns, if necessary) or a side dish
• Bring a picnic blanket and/or chairs
• Sunscreen (we hope!)
• Balls or games
We also need (talk to Jeannie Koops-Elson):
• Grill masters!
• A few coolers stocked with ice
• Some hardy Souls to help clean up & cart supplies back to church
Padre picnic site on South Park Dr. in Tilden. If you are coming from the Berkeley side, turn right up South Park Dr. just after the Brazil Building. Padre is on your right on South Park Dr. about halfway up to the Steam Trains.
If you would like a ride to Padre, gather in the All Souls courtyard at 10:30 am.
END-OF-THE-YEAR YOUTH GROUP PARTY
On Sunday, June 11th from 6pm-7:30pm, middle and high schoolers will come together to have one last youth group celebration before summer. Dinner will be provided. Please bring a side dish, drink, or dessert. RSVP to Jess Powell at email@example.com.
SUMMER SUNDAY SCHOOL: JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM
June 18th we will begin our summer program for kids in preschool through 5th grade. This year, Summer Sunday School will be an experiential adventure through many different aspects of life in Jerusalem around the time of Jesus: looking at food, dress, architecture, ways of life, art, and more. Think lots of hands-on explorations, hopefully a big collaborative project, and plenty of time outside. If you are interested in helping to lead, please let Liz Tichenor or Lenore Williamson know.
SHOW YOUR PRIDE!
One of the things that has inspired me, heartened me and given me pride to be a member of All Souls is the support, welcome and love extended to members of the LGBTQ Community. With the political climate becoming alarmingly intolerant and even hostile, now is a good time to stand together and show that we – not only but especially as Christians – truly do seek to lovingly and compassionately “respect the dignity of every human being” and love our neighbors as ourselves.
The San Francisco Pride Parade is June 25th and the Diocese of California Oasis group will participate in a walking contingent … will you join me in representing All Souls, stand up for and walk with your lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer brothers, sisters and neighbors in Christ?
– Ari Wolfe