From the Associate for Ministry Development
Proud to be an All Soulsian
As many of you know, or have heard, Madeline Feeley and I joined up with our new Deacon, Marguerite Judson, to head to CCD a few weeks ago. CCD, as you might remember from Phil’s Pathfinder piece a few weeks ago, stands for the College for Congregational Development. The version of the college that we did was a grueling six day, 9am-9pm schedule of classes and lab type learning about organization and congregational development. You would not be wrong if you thought that perhaps I was a little less than excited to go spend a week like this. And, after that lovely description, you might be surprised that I am not the first from our congregation to attend CCD, but am perhaps the 10th or so person to attend! I quickly learned that All Soulsians are sort of CCD rockstars – not only has our congregation sent many people to the college, but we have implemented and engaged the curriculum in great depth. Only after attending for the week did I realize just how much our congregation has been shaped by the College for Congregational Development. What exactly am I talking about? Funny you should ask.
Many of the things we learn at CCD are things that don’t surface in the day to day functioning of our church (unless you’re at staff meetings every week in which case these things are ever-present), however, it is nearly always the case that CCD models are at play in the things that happens here. I’ll give an example. There’s this model called the Life Cycle Model. It’s very simple. To use the model locate yourself, your group, your team, your organization, or your church somewhere on the model (see picture). Starting with the birth at the bottom left, the life cycle of an organization or a person’s involvement in an organization can be tracked. The dotted lines represent possible tracks for intervention in order to maintain the energy and life of an organization or a person’s involvement in an organization.
This is a model we often use when looking at our teams here at All Souls. It helps us know what might be needed next in the life of a group. When a ministry team leader comes to us and says, “this just isn’t quite working like it used to…” we look to this model, almost instinctively, to help us navigate next moves for that leader and team. You get the idea.
At CCD Madeline, Marguerite and I, as representatives from All Souls, were one of perhaps 20 congregations represented, mostly those from the Diocese of Northern California. They had us use the model above by identifying where we thought our individual congregations were by placing a sticker on that spot in the model. I placed our All Souls dot at the top of the Healthy category moving into Stability because, on a whole, that’s where I see us. I found it interesting to note that there were not many congregations who put their sticker in that particular area of the model.
If there was a kernel from the week, it was that All Souls is an alive place, where not only the Spirit of God is at work, but where healthy systems are in place to evaluate who we are, what we’re doing, and how we’re doing what we’re doing. While understanding that there is always a lot more work to be done, I was proud of us, and proud to be part of a congregation that is engaged, willing to take risks, and even a little wild at times (relatively speaking, that is).
What happens next for Madeline, Marguerite and me? We go back. We have homework over the next year in the form of a project, which we must complete before we do year two of CCD next summer. More on that soon. Once we have completed year two’s week long intensive we are considered graduates and are finished with the college.
CCD may have been grueling and a little more structure and orderliness than I feel I can manage at times, but it’s also, in part, the reason All Souls is so effective and capable. I’m thankful for the training and the guidance that the college provides so that I can better see what and how to move forward in this crazy endeavor called church.
From Our Transitional Deacon
And what is a Deacon?
I have heard that question posed a few times since I joined All Souls at the altar on June 18th; this is a very brief outline of how I understand my new role given that I was ordained a Deacon on June 10th.
The Story of Stephen. There was a squabble in the early church in Jerusalem about whether food was being distributed fairly to the Jewish and Hellenist (gentile) widows. The Apostles selected seven community leaders to take on the task of “waiting on tables” so the Apostles could focus on prayer and preaching (Acts 6:1-6). It is a wonderful irony that Stephen, one of the seven dedicated to serve in this early food ministry – whose office became known as “deacon” – has one of the longest sermons in the New Testament and was the first martyr of the early church! (Acts 6:8-7:60) He is a model of service to those who were on the margins of the community which is the hallmark of the Diaconate in the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion.
Highlights from the ordination service in the Book of Common Prayer (BCP, pages 537-547). About half-way through the ordination service for Deacons, which is led by a Bishop, there is an Examination of the candidates who have been nominated by their local congregations and have completed extensive theological training. The first paragraph was particularly powerful for me:
My [brother/sister], every Christian is called to follow Jesus Christ, serving God the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit. God now calls you to a special ministry of servanthood directly under your bishop. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick and the lonely.
That final sentence is emphasized at the end of the following paragraph “At all times, your life and teaching are to show Christ’s people that in serving the helpless they are serving Christ himself.”
Hence, one tends to find Deacons of the Episcopal Church focused on outreach such as food ministries, hospital or prison chaplaincies, community organizing to promote justice and peace, protecting the environment, promoting education, and on and on. There are a myriad of ways to serve the poor, the weak, the sick and the lonely. I have heard the Deacon’s role described as “standing in the doorway…bringing the church to the world, and the world to the church.”
During the Eucharistic liturgy, the Deacon speaks with and on behalf of the people which usually includes: leading the Creed, encouraging people to pray for each other and to make confession, proclaiming the Gospel, setting the Eucharistic table and, finally, sending out the people to do the work God has given us to do – and equipped us to do through the Eucharist.
Vocational or transitional deaconate? The call to serve the marginalized is part of our baptismal covenant as Christians in the Episcopal Church. At our baptism, and when we re-affirm our baptismal vows on special feast days, one of the questions is “Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?” We all take on this responsibility when we reply “I will, with God’s help” (p. 305 of the BCP).
It is also named in the ordination services for each of the Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church: Deacon, Priest or Bishop. For some people, that desire/focus is their top priority and they are knowns as vocational (permanent) Deacons. For others, the focus is on serving the church as pastor, priest and teacher; in that case one is considered a transitional Deacon and, depending the diocese, usually serves for 6-12 months as a Deacon before being ordained as a Priest. God willing and the people consenting, I hope to be ordained a Priest on December 2nd.
– The Rev. Deacon Marguerite Judson
WELCOMING NEW MEMBERS
Hi I’m Shawn. Born and raised in Miami, Florida by two great parents. As an infant, I was baptized in the Southern Baptist church. For middle and high school, I attended Palmer Trinity, an Episcopal school in Miami, where I went to Eucharist regularly. For college, I attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Vermont where I received my undergrad and grad degrees respectively and spent time at the University of Michigan Ann-Arbor. During undergrad, I attended a non-denominational Christian church.
I’ve moved to the Bay Area roughly two years ago. A year ago, I had a major life change that brought a lot of instability to my previously stable life. It made me rethink a lot of things in my life. I decided I needed to find something good out of the bad and use my skills to fight against discrimination, climate change and reducing inequality in education. I started attending All Souls in March when I decided that I needed to come back to church, but not just any. I felt Episcopal churches suited me the best because of their commitment to tradition, openness and intellectualness. I also like hearing hymns played on organs!
When looking for a new church in Berkeley, I searched online, and came across this statement that someone wrote, “Don’t expect this church to force you to check your brain at the door.” And I thought this sounds like the church for me!
Professionally, I work as a senior engineer for a large energy headquartered in in San Francisco. In my job there is no room for darkness, as we aim to keep the lights on all the time.
Other than Miami, I’ve lived in Burlington, Vermont, and Pisa, Italy for extended periods of time.
Outside of work I enjoy volunteering, dancing (Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing), biking, traveling, debating politics, programming, and watching the NFL.
– Shawn Adderly
ALL SOULS IS READING ABOUT JOY!
Did you come to last Sunday’s group discussion of The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World? If you missed it, please come this Sunday July 2nd to the Parish Hall during the formation hour following the 9:00 am service. Bob Holum will lead the group in discussing this week’s selection: “Days 2-3, Obstacles to Joy: You Are a Masterpiece in the Making” (pp. 81-114) and “Joy Practices, Overcoming Obstacles to Joy: Focus and Stress Relief—A Breathing Practice; Morning Meditation Walk or Exercise; Fear, Anger, and Sadness—An Analytic Meditation; Frustration and Anger—A Prayer” (pp. 314-321).
Please come whenever you can, even if you haven’t found time to do the reading. 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!
Help this Sunday!
Jr. Warden seeks a stouthearted crew to help move pews out of the Parish Hall as well as all of the other furniture (including sliding the piano out into the hallway outside the kitchen), in preparation for a floor refurbishing (Monday) and NEW CHAIRS (later in the week)!!! Reply to Maggie Cooke at (415) 699-6700 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you can give us some time after the 11:15 Sunday service July 2nd. Please and THANK YOU!
Celebrating the Middle School Immersion Trip
This week, 15 middle school students from East Bay Episcopal Churches have been staying at our Parish House and giving themselves to service, learning, and exploration of our community. All are invited to come this Friday (tomorrow) at 4:00 pm, for our closing Eucharist in the sanctuary. The youth will have some time to share their thoughts on citizenship. I invite you all to join us in that celebration in the sanctuary.
Interfaith Immigration Vigil
Join us this Saturday, July 1st at 11:00 am at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond (5555 Giant Highway) for the monthly interfaith immigration vigil. We’ll gather with song, prayer, sacred story, and make our presence known as loudly as we can for our sisters and brothers being detained. Contact Margaret Sparks for carpooling information.
KIDS & BAPTISM
Have your kids been baptized? Would they like to be? While it’s more common for people to be baptized either as infants or adults in the Episcopal Church, kids absolutely can be as well. We’ll be adding an extra date for baptism this year: August 13. It will be unique in that we will have been worshiping with the font as our center all summer, and also because some of the people being baptized will be kids who just spent a whole week immersed in this community as part of Camp All Souls. If this is a possibility you are interested in exploring with your kids, (or for yourself!) just talk to Liz or Phil.