From the Rector
Living Waters Indeed
A few months ago I shared in a letter to the parish the wisdom I had received from many colleagues over time, that if you could avoid leading a capital campaign you should do so. Again, I can understand where the sentiment comes from. Capital campaigns require an incredible amount of time, attention, and energy.
I can say at this point that this has all been proven out, the last several months have been intensive, and we are just concluding the fundraising element of the project. The work of planning, designing, and re-constructing has yet to begin. What I can also say at this point, however, is that it has been an enlivening and expansive process, and one that I had not fully anticipated. For the energy, camaraderie, and hope that has been released has been astounding. At a time when those three experiences can feel hard to come by, I have found myself grateful to God over and over again.
During a time of drought, it has felt significant to be reflecting on living waters. Over the course of the last several months we have remembered the number of times when All Souls was able to be a wellspring for many, many people. And it is clear that the people of this parish are ready and willing to serve as a center of respite and life for many more.
Below in this Pathfinder you’ll find an article by Richard Lynch that reflects on how this campaign unfolded. I would like to offer my own thanks to the team that supported this campaign: to Richard, Marilyn Flood, Kieran King, David Cooke, Toni Martinez Borgfeldt, Erin Horne, Jim Feeley, Kim Wong, Jeannie Koops, Rebecca Whitney, Renae Breitenstein, Cathy Goshorn, Emily Hansen Curran, Patrick Tahara, and Nancy Pryer. Their sustained efforts and palpable faith were incredible. I am deeply grateful for their service to this parish.
And you’ll also find an article by our Senior Warden, Melissa Devereaux that outlines the process for the next several months. Melissa, our Junior Warden Irina Wolf Carriere, and the Vestry are hard at work setting up the infrastructure so that we can faithfully and intentionally carry out these projects, both inside and outside of our walls. You’ll see that there are several opportunities for congregational involvement, starting with this survey about your hopes for the work as well as areas of expertise or connection that you might be able to share.
Lastly, I am aware of the deep trust that All Souls has placed in the broader leadership of the parish at this moment in our history. What began as a desire to do our part to care for the maintenance of our spiritual home has turned into much, much more than that. It truly has been an upwelling of the life-giving waters of Christ in this place. I could not be more grateful, and am excited to see what is yet to come.
From the Living Waters Campaign
Inspiration, Transformation and Thanks
All Souls’ response to the Living Waters capital campaign has been inspiring and transformative. Thanks be to God and thanks to the entire community for investing in preparing All Souls for our second century.
As the active soliciting for Living Waters commitments draws to a close, All Soulsians have committed just under $3.9m to the renewal of our spaces. With the $550,000 from Ann Jordan’s gift, the Living Waters campaign will be able to spend almost $4.5m to renew our spaces and repair our world.
The money this community has contributed will allow us to address the four pillars or values that have framed our campaign: Complete Accessibility, Communal Flexibility, Continued Vitality and Carbon Neutrality. We will make our space a more valuable resource for our service and mission and for our neighbors.
We will give a tithe from our commitments to repair our world, firmly committed to the belief that God’s abundance is not, and cannot be, for ourselves alone.
The scale of the generosity of this community has been staggering. We started this campaign seeking to raise $2m and then figure out how to meet cost estimates above that. So far, 134 households have made the commitments to get us to the threshold of $3.9m. We are still in conversation with several people and may reach $4m in commitments. Household commitments have been as varied as our congregation, ranging from $50 to four gifts of $200,000 or more.
The transformation happening here is not just about the building or the projects we will take on. The community and its people have been enhanced and revitalized by the process. Over and over again people have shared that their gift the Living Waters campaign was the biggest they have given or will ever give. People listened to the personal stories of fellow All Soulsians and were inspired to raise their own commitments.
People took faithful risks to make their commitments. Vacations were deferred, uncertainty was put aside and people stretched to renew this place. More than one or two people said they felt a stronger connection to the community after seeing what an important role our parish plays in their lives and the lives of their fellow All Soulsians.
People are excited about the opportunity to prepare our space for whatever work God calls us to in the next years. Whether that is more community meeting space, an enhanced kitchen, being accessible to every body or being able to gather more easily we are looking forward to renewed service and hospitality. The past two years have often kept us at a distance. The re-dedication of this community to its future has brought us closer together and laid the foundation for our future.
As the chair of the capital campaign, I have been humbled and moved to see so many inspired, and so many elements of All Souls transformed. I am grateful to the Living Waters team for their ceaseless efforts to invite the community into this project for renewal and I value the time we have spent together. I am blessed to have started or enhanced relationships with so many people I like, respect and who inspire me.
I believe God is calling us to ready our space for our current service and to be ready for future ministry. The enthusiasm and joy surrounding our fundraising campaign is rare. I believe the Holy Spirit has been moving at all Souls, transforming the process of asking people for financial support into a time to draw us together and draw us closer to God. I give thanks to God and to All Souls for that transformation.
I offer my most reverent thanks to the entire All Souls community for your generosity, your spirit and your vibrant dedication to this place. It has been my pleasure and honor to be a part of this campaign. As the work of the campaign shifts from raising money to planning the tangible steps into our future, I am excited about how we will work to renew our space. I am looking forward to continuing to build, and make, church together.
Chair, Living Waters Campaign
From the Senior Warden
As you know, the Living Waters campaign has been extraordinarily successful, raising nearly $4M (and counting!) to renew our space and support the ministries of this church both within and beyond our walls.
One question that has been a constant throughout the campaign is, “how will we decide which projects to do if there is not enough money to do them all?” This question felt particularly pressing because when we launched the campaign, we had nearly $3M in anticipated project costs but what felt like a reasonable campaign goal of about $2M. Some projects would not be able to get done this go-around.
Thanks to your extraordinary generosity, we are now hopeful that most, if not all, of the projects we outlined as being part of the renewal of our spaces will be completed sometime over the next three years. I am writing today to share the outline of the process we will use to determine the final scope of work and the opportunities for congregational input.
First, we want to hear from you now! We have created a short survey where we hope you will share your hopes for this next phase of the Living Waters campaign 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.
Next, in the coming days our wonderful campaign team will hand off the final pledge numbers and projected pledge payment schedule to the finance committee. The finance committee, led by Treasurer Shelley Altura, will factor in things like the Jordan principle, the tithe approved by the vestry, final campaign expenses, and any costs of borrowing to bridge the timing of pledge payments, and provide the Vestry and the Property committee with a project budget.
The Property Committee is going to be led by Patrick Tahara and a wonderful team of willing volunteers. Over the summer, this group will do a deeper level of planning, cost estimation, and feasibility analysis for all of the projects that were part of the campaign. They will also look at any other deferred maintenance that was not part of the original campaign, but that may need to be completed in order for new investments to be done effectively and efficiently.
At the same time the Property Committee is hard at work, a new committee will be formed to discern a framework for how to disburse the tithe portion of the campaign proceeds. You’ll hear more about this in the coming weeks.
At the end of the summer or in early fall, the congregation will be invited into a conversation (or two!) to hear what each of these committees is recommending. We anticipate these meetings will be large group gatherings – likely on Sunday mornings – where we can share what the feasibility and discernment efforts are pointing us toward in terms of a final scope of work. We will get your feedback during these sessions (and afterward, if needed).
The Property Committee will make a final recommendation to the Vestry and we will announce the final project plan to the congregation by the end of the year.
We are excited about this process, and hope you will make your voice heard at the appropriate intervals. Start today by filling out the survey at this link!
And thank you for your generosity, patience, and continued prayers.
Update on our Associate for Music Search
The Beat Goes On
As you know, Dr. Jamie Apgar, our beloved Associate for Music and his wife Melanie are decamping for the East Coast later this summer. It has been a remarkable five years of Jamie’s leadership, guidance, and skill. His last Sunday with us will be on July 24th, and there will be more information about the ways we will be celebrating Jamie in the weeks to come.
Several years ago, when Jamie was invited to serve as a lecturer in church music and chapel musician at CDSP, the Dean and President, Mark Richardson, and I agreed that when Jamie did take his leave, that we would engage in a search in common. For the last several months a joint search team has been hard at work. On the All Souls side we have been led by Dierdre Nurre, along with Marilyn Flood, Matt Simpson, and Ryan Greene-Roesel, and me. Once again, the process was as important as the result and the inquiring questions, diligent work, and open hearts of the team during this search were truly amazing. And today I am pleased to share in the fruits of our labor.
On Sunday, August 14th, we will be joined by our new Associate for Music, Dent Davidson. Dent has had a robust and inspiring career as a church musician, a composer, an author, a teacher, and a leader of people in song. He is concluding a call as the musician of Grace Place in Chicago, will be serving as the Chaplain to the House of Bishops at General Convention this summer, and then Dent and his husband Jim will be heading west to Berkeley and will be residing in one of the All Souls apartments at Jordan Court.
As for us at All Souls, we are fortunate once again to have the skills of Carol Terry and Joe Rosenmayer, who have agreed to serve on the Sundays after Jamie’s departure and prior to Dent’s arrival.
It will be a summer full of song, bidding thanks and Godspeed to Jamie, and welcoming Dent to this part of God’s creation, a time of aloha, of goodbye and hello. And we will not keep from singing.
Save the Dates
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 at 9am, in-person, outdoor service in the courtyard. This week’s 9am service will 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.
11:15 Eucharist in Tilden Park this week!
Join us outdoors for the 11:15 service up in Tilden Park at the Mineral Springs picnic area (click here for the map). Following the service we’ll have a potluck picnic. If you’re able, please bring something to share and/or help stick around at the end to clean up. Also, don’t forget to bring a chair for yourself!
If you’re able to help out (giving someone a ride, grilling, or cleaning up) please sign-up on this sign-up sheet. See Jeannie Koops for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 two class offerings:
- 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.
Children, Youth, and Family News
- Save the Date: June 24th, How to Raise an Anti-Racist: a presentation by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
- 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
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 1 (June 19 – July 17): A Short Course in Merton
Even as Thomas Merton continually aspired to the more monastic existence, he never disengaged from the most vital political conversations of our modern age, those regarding culture, social justice, literature, and religion. For All Souls’ first summer book club we’ll read two signature works as introduction to Merton in his entirety, touching on his work as social critic and contemplative.
The first three weeks will be devoted to Merwin’s Contemplative Prayer, published in paper and with an introduction by Thich Nhat Hahn. Contemplative Prayer is also available in audio- and e-book formats.
During our final week we’ll focus on his The Wisdom of the Desert, published by New Directions in paperback, also available as an e-book and on Audible. This volume of Merton’s translations of sayings and parables was one of his own favorites—he had hoped to spend his final years in the manner of the fourth century Christian Fathers in the deserts of the Near East, seeking solitude as a hermit.
June 19-July 17 **Please note: The book club doesn’t meet on July 3rd.
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!