From the Rector
A Feast in the Making
I’m often asked how someone gets to be a Saint in the Episcopal Church. Not a lowercase saint, like the New Testament, but an uppercase Saint like the one that churches and schools are named after. In the Episcopal Church, the process of discerning who has been a “light in their generation,” happens in a very democratic way. It begins locally, then is affirmed by the consensus of the broader church.
As the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (formerly chaired by our own the Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers) offers, “History demonstrates that liturgical commemorations originate in the local community. Indeed, all proposed additions to the calendar of the church ought to begin as local commemorations.” One early practice of the Church was Christian communities would honor a particular martyr or beloved figure and would worship God with them in mind. If others recognized the same holy qualities in that Saint the practice would spread.
In the same way, in the Episcopal Church feast days (the celebration of a Saint) often begin in a diocese, and then are taken up by other dioceses across the church, finally coming to the General Convention to be voted on so that it can be officially accepted on our church’s calendar.
In our diocese we have recently begun this work, though it’s not in honor of an individual, but instead of an event: Juneteenth. That’s the day that marks Union soldiers arriving in Galveston, Texas on June 19th, 1865 to announce the end of the Civil War and that all enslaved people were set free. Texas was the final state to receive word that the Civil War was over and that the Emancipation Proclamation that abolished slavery was law throughout the United States.
In October of 2020 the Diocese of California voted to celebrate Juneteenth as a feast day of the diocese and our local chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians gathered prayers, hymns, and scriptural passages for the celebration of this feast. When Presiding Bishop Curry reflected on the observance of Juneteenth as a feast day in the Diocese of California he had this to say, “Today, the observance of Juneteenth might be a subtle awakening to the truth that even painful truths, once told, do not further enslave us to the past; rather, if we learn from them, they set us free to live a new present and a new future. And that is true for the descendants of former slaves and the descendants of former slave owners.” It is past time to remember these truths, amend our lives, and allow these truths to set us all free.
For the celebration of Juneteenth, this year on a Sunday, our local chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians has asked that each congregation in this diocese celebrate this feast together using the liturgical resources they have gathered, which we at All Souls will be doing. It feels especially important at this moment of American history, one where violent claims of white supremacy are still being made, to stand with Black Episcopalians and celebrate the moment when the “promissory note” of freedom finally reached the last stand of the Confederacy.
We will celebrate this feast, trusting that the bell of liberation that was rung on June 19th, 1865 continues to reverberate in our own day. This Sunday we will both be celebrating the promise that it brings, as well as praying for God’s Spirit within and among us to carry on the liberative Gospel work of setting all of God’s people free. May it begin in this part of God’s church and ring far and wide.
From Youth Ministry
Youth Walking Pilgrimage to San Francisco
You may have heard by now that our youth group will be taking a walking pilgrimage from All Souls to Grace Cathedral next Sunday, June 26th. We will be commissioned and blessed for our journey at the end of the 9:00am service, and from there we’ll walk down Shattuck, to Telegraph, to Broadway, to Jack London Square and take the ferry to San Francisco, and from there we’ll walk to Grace Cathedral.
You might be wondering. Why? Why walk when you could take BART? Well, the point here is to get a taste of what it means to be a pilgrim. Pilgrimage, in its essence requires you to get uncomfortable. It requires that you step out of what you know, in order that your mind might be opened to something new and different. That’s my hope for our youth as we walk roughly nine miles on June 26th; that we are pushed just far enough out of our comfort zones that we are open to a new experience of God in our midst.
So, we ask your prayers for our young people (and Phil and me!) on June 26th; that we are safe, and that our hearts and minds are open to the Divine in whatever form She may take that day. If you are a youth in grades 6-12 and would like to participate or you’re interested in more logistical information about our pilgrimage, feel free to check out the nuts & bolts details here.
Can’t wait to walk with our youth into a new experience!
Save the Dates
June 26, Youth Group Pilgrimage to SF and the 9:00am service moves indoors!
July 15-17, All Parish Campout
August 19, All Souls at the A’s Game
September 16-18, All Parish Retreat at the Bishop’s Ranch
Join us for worship this week:
- 9am, in-person, outdoor service in the courtyard (this is the final week of outdoor worship!) Next week, the 9am service will move indoors
- 11:15am, in-person, indoors (masks are optional, but strongly recommended at this point.) This service will also be live streamed.
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. 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.
Then join us in the Parish Hall at 5p Sunday Night Service for Evening Prayer.
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. Masks are required for this service as it is indoors.
Adult Formation Classes
There are three class offering this Sunday:
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 7:30a. Contact Kate Murphy, email@example.com to join that Zoom call, or join them in-person in the Common Room.
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 10:10a. Contact Daniel Prechtel, firstname.lastname@example.org to join that Zoom call, or join them in-person in the Chapel.
- Summer Book Group begins! @10:10a in the Common Room (and on Zoom––click here). The first book we’ll read is Thomas Merton’s Contemplative Prayer for June 19, 26, and July 10th. In the final group meeting we’ll read and discuss Thomas Merton’s book The Wisdom of the Desert. If you need a copy of the book, please see Emily.
Children, Youth, and Family News
- Save the Date: June 24th, How to Raise an Anti-Racist: a presentation by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and movie night for kids.
- Youth in grades 6-12, save the date: June 26th for our Walking Pilgrimage to San Francisco!
- See the most recent Children and Family Bulletin or Email Maggie for more information about Children, Youth and Family Ministries at All Souls.
Other News & Notes
From the Living Waters
Now that the fundraising portion of the Living Waters Campaign is complete, we want to hear from you! We have created a short survey where we hope you will share your hopes for the Project phase of Living Waters and let us know if you have a particular interest, area of expertise, or contact to share. While we may not be able to make use of everybody’s favorite plumber, we do hope you will fill out the survey by Sunday, June 26th. This survey is just the first step in this process, and there will be more opportunities for conversation in th future! Thank you!
Arts at All Souls
Gazing at a unique piece of art often invites us into a closer connection with God. As members of All Souls, we have always found visual imagery to be spiritually stirring, challenging and uplifting. Those of us on the Visual Arts Committee are seeking fresh voices and ideas for the coming church year. You do not need specific creative skills, just an open heart, curiosity, and an interest in how art can strengthen and inspire our faith. If you feel called to help, contact Diane Haavik at email@example.com or 206-841-2466.
Summer Book Club
Part 2 (July 24 – August 7)
Part 2 – Please Vote for the book we will read in the second half of the summer. Voting will start soon in the narthex.
We have four possible books for our mid-summer book group. They are:
Colum McCann Apeirogon: A Novel
Omar al Akkad What Strange Paradise
Charles Blow Fire Shut up in my Bones
Peter Gomes The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart
Longer descriptions will be available soon in the narthex. Look for the jars and marbles and cast your vote!