From the Rector

The Steps Ahead

It turns out that 67 years of deferred maintenance takes quite a toll. 1956 was the year that the All Souls campus was most significantly changed––when the old chapel was taken down, part of the Parish Hall was cut back, and the new church and undercroft were built. It was also the year when our electrical and heating systems were most recently overhauled, and when many of our forms of egress (doorways, stairways, and ramps) were created. Lots of things have changed in Berkeley since 1967, but much of the workings of our physical plant has not. 

If you’re a regular reader of this space you likely know that in 2022 we re-engaged the Living Waters capital campaign to address four principal pillars and to support justice work outside the parish. The capital pillars of the campaign are complete accessibility, carbon neutrality, communal flexibility, and continued vitality. Thanks to the movement of the Spirit and the faith-filled response of All Soulsians near and far, we raised far more funds than we had thought possible––nearly $4 million dollars, with almost $400,000 available for the Isaiah Project towards racial reparations. 

Since the funds were raised our Property Committee and Vestry have been hard at work: discerning priorities, selecting an architect and general contractor, beginning conceptual design, and creating a rough order of magnitude (ROM) budget. The initial results are in, and, well, it is clear that while we have an incredible amount of money to work with and will be able to attend to many of the long-held needs and dreams of the parish, the accumulated needs of the buildings and the aspirations of our congregation are even more.

This Sunday, March 26th in our venerable Parish Hall, please join Richard Lynch, chair of the Living Waters campaign, MartÍn Ortega of the Property Committee, and Sarah Kern, our Senior Warden, and me for a Living Waters update. You’ll be able to hear the recommendation that the Vestry has received from the Property Committee, the work that is proposed for the year to come, the decisions that have yet to be made, and the work that may remain for All Soulsians in the years to come.

After the presentation, gathered at the round tables in the Parish Hall, everyone will be invited to share your sense of priorities and what you’d like the Vestry to be considering. Vestry and staff members at each table will record the responses and share them with the whole gathering at the end of our time. Sarah Kern will then close our time by giving a roadmap of the process ahead. So please join us in the Parish Hall this Sunday between the services at 10:10am, or on Zoom, as we give thanks for what we have received, and seek to bring the fruits of our imaginations into the spaces that we will be offering the people of All Souls Parish for years to come.



From the Vestry

Summary of the Vestry Meeting – March 15, 2023

On March 15th, the Vestry met in the Common Room at All Souls. Ryan Roesel started us with a reflection on a poem from Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God. After time for reflection, Senior Warden Sarah Kern reviewed the agenda and started us off with the consent agenda items. Since the financials for January were received late in on the day of the meeting we did not include them in the consent agenda. We voted to approve the minutes from February’s meeting.

Next, Senior Warden Sarah Kern, Junior Warden Nydia MacGregor, and The Rev Phil Brochard presented a set of Communal Vestry Practices. The three practices they wish the Vestry to adopt are:

  1. Meetings –  to address Vestry business in a timely and cooperative manner and to provide space for all Vestry members to contribute, all members are asked to raise their hands to speak. A variety of participatory approaches will be used going forward to ensure that all voices may be heard.  Grace Telcs has graciously volunteered to be our timekeeper (thank you, Grace!) to help us keep to the designated time for each topic.
  2. The Rector and the Wardens would like the Vestry to establish new norms in terms of when email messages are sent (business hours through 9 pm) and what type of content is sent (informational content rather than emotionally charged content). They ask that if there is a topic that is being discussed via email that is becoming emotionally charged, the Vestry member(s) will set up a meeting with the other person or people in the email thread.  That meeting might include the Rector or Wardens if they are part of that discussion or if their presence is needed, but it also might be a meeting directly between two Vestry members or between a Vestry member and another member of the congregation without the Rector or Wardens involved.
  3. The Diocese has asked all elected leaders in all the congregations of the Diocese of California to complete a six-session Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism Training. Vestry members have been asked to complete the first session before April’s meeting.

After the presentation of communal practices, The Rev Phil Brochard gave an overview of the new, expanded Parochial Report. The Vestry voted to approve the report.

Next up was a presentation of the Property Committee’s Recommendation for the Living Waters Project Improvements. Patrick Tahara, chair, and Martin Ortega presented the Recommendation with the conceptual plans and the estimated costs. They explained how the four underlying themes of the Living Waters Campaign, Complete Accessibility, Communal Flexibility, Carbon Neutrality, and Continued Vitality, were related to the scope of work and the overall budget for the Project. After their presentation, each Vestry member was given a chance to ask questions in a round table format.

Following the Property committee was The Rev Phil Brochard’s update on the Finance Team. Progress is being made to find a new bookkeeper after Steve Zimmerman announced his intent to retire late last year. 

Richard Lynch then presented the strategic staffing plan and their proposed goal of hiring a full-time Associate Rector to replace The Rev Maggie Foote. The motion for the Vestry to support the salary of a full-time Associate Rector in the budget for 2024 was approved.

In order for the meeting to end in a timely fashion, quick updates were given by Ryan Roesel of the Worship Team and Michael Lewis of the Communications Team. 

The meeting closed with a brief Rector’s report and another beautiful poem read by Ryan Roesel from Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God.

As a reminder, Vestry meetings are open to the congregation. The next Vestry meeting is on April 26th at 7 pm in the Common Room.

-Jennifer Akiyama

From the Associate for Music

The Palm Sunday Passion:

Did the Prayer Book “Get it Wrong?”

Since its official approval in 1979, the Book of Common Prayer has proved an amazingly rich resource for the liturgical and spiritual life of the Church.  As Episcopalians we like to call ourselves “People of the Book”. (While I’d like to THINK that means the Bible, it’s far more likely that we mean we are people of the BCP: “All things decently and in order.”

The powerful drama of Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday: The Sunday of the Passion.  We gather outside, bless palms, and re-enact Jesus’ triumphal/humble entry into Jerusalem, singing loud hosannas.  As we cross the threshold the mood suddenly changes, and we find ourselves crying “Crucify!” as we read the Passion Gospel.  I’m all for good drama in liturgy, but the order the BCP lays out has always felt like whiplash to me.  We miss the opportunity to sing more Palm Sunday hymnody, and dive deeper into what it means for Jesus to enter the holy city humbly, riding on a donkey. 

Some years ago I was working with colleagues on this “problem” and we came up with the idea of doing the full set of Palm Sunday readings, using the triumphal entry as the actual Gospel reading, preaching on the Palm Sunday-ness of it all. After receiving communion we sing a hymn that helps change our focus to the Cross.  The drama continues in a presentation of the Passion, with the congregation taking the crowd parts, with 8 readers, and 2 percussionists helping the scene unfold.  At the end of the Passion there is no dismissal, only silence as we depart, knowing Holy Week has begun.

-Dent Davidson, Associate for Music

Save the Dates

  • March 29, Lenten Contemplative Service + Soup Supper (Wednesdays in Lent)
  • April 6-8, Holy Week

Weekly Worship

Join us for worship this week:

  • 9am, in-person, indoors 
  • 11:15am, in-person, indoors. (click here to access the live stream)
  • 5p, the Sunday Night Service, in-person, indoors, in the Chapel.

You can access the live stream through our website or by tuning into our All Souls Episcopal Parish Youtube page. Click here to watch on Sunday morning. 

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.


Adult Formation Classes

  • Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 7:30a. Click here to join by Zoom, or join them in-person in the Common Room.
  • Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 10:15a. Click here to join by Zoom, or join them in-person in Phil’s old office, (now called the Shadrach Room).
  • Living Waters Update @ 10:15a in the Parish Hall. This Sunday only, come hear from the vestry about the latest on the Living Waters Capital Campaign projects. Click here to join by Zoom or join in person, in the Parish Hall. 

Children, Youth, and Family News

Nursery The downstairs nursery is open and available to you for your use whenever you’re at All Souls. This is not a staffed nursery, so an adult must be there with your child, but if you need a quiet place to take a time out, change a diaper, let your child play or take a rest, the nursery is open for you to do all of those things. If there is a service going on that’s being livestreamed, you will be able to watch the livestream on the computer in the nursery as well.

Sunday School This week, Sunday School moves to during the 9:00am service. Children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult.

Youth Youth in grades 6-12 are invited to meet in the “Fiery Furnace” downstairs in the undercroft for a check-in on Sunday mornings. Youth Group Continues this week for Grades 6-12 at 7:00pm in the “Fiery Furnace”

Confirm Not Conform continues this week at 10:10 in Maggie’s Office.

Faithful Families the next Faithful Families will be Thursday, March 30th from 5:30-7:15pm! Join us for dinner, intergenerational formation, and a short evening prayer service. RSVP Here

Save the Date! Youth Walking Pilgrimage to Grace Cathedral: May 21st after the 9am service for grades 6-12! Click Here for more information.

Email Maggie for more information about Children, Youth and Family Ministries at All Souls.

Episcopal Summer Camp Registrations are Now Open!

Episcopal Camps across the country are starting to open for registration, including the Diocese of California’s not one, but TWO summer camps: St. Dorothy’s Rest, and The Bishop’s Ranch. You can find more information about the dates, age ranges, and cost for each camp at the links below:

St. Dorothy’s Rest

The Bishop’s Ranch

Other News & Notes

Holy week schedule: 

Holy week is the week leading up to Easter Sunday, where we follow the path of Christians who for centuries upon centuries have been gathering together to retrace these last steps of the Christ. While the week’s services are meant to be experienced as one service spread out over several days, please join for any or all that you are able. Here is the schedule for the week (*live streamed services):

Maundy Thursday

  • 6p Agape Meal
  • 7:30p Eucharist, with the Washing of Feet, Stripping of the Altar, and Procession to the Altar of Repose*

Good Friday

  • 12-3 Contemplative Service (with poetry, silence, song, and prayers)
  • 4-5p Holy Week for children
  • 7:30p Eucharist with reserved sacrament, reading of the Passion Gospel, and Veneration of the Cross*

Holy Saturday

  • 9:30a Holy Saturday liturgy
  • 8p The Great Vigil of Easter, with lighting of the New Fire, and the First Eucharist of Easter*

Flowers for Easter?

After the austere sticks in the quire for Lent, we hope for a burst of flowers on Easter.  Can you/Would you help make this happen?  If yes, write a check in any amount with “Easter flowers” in the memo line, or use the electronic giving link and choose “Flower Fund”  before Palm Sunday, April 2.  Contact Maggie Cooke for any questions at

Dr. Scott MacDougall’s Book Celebration

On Thursday, April 13, at 8 p.m. Pacific Time, CDSP will celebrate the publication of Dr. Scott MacDougall’s new book, The Shape of Anglican Theology: Faith Seeking Wisdom, at an event that can be attended either in person or by livestream. 

Dr. MacDougall, associate professor of theology, will discuss the themes and content of his book with the Rev. Ellen K. Wondra, PhD, research professor emerita of theology and ethics at the Bexley Seabury Seminary Federation. Those wishing to attend in person can meet at 7:45 p.m. for dessert and coffee preceding the conversation, which will take place in the Tucson Common Room at CDSP. The talk will begin promptly at 8 p.m. No RSVP is required. Those joining online can participate via Zoom at

Lenten Contemplative Weekly Services + Soup Supper

This Lent, rather than Soup + Story, we’re going to host contemplative services at the church following a soup supper in the Parish Hall. Each week we’ll focus on a different contemplative practice, around prayer, led by different parishioners at All Souls. Each week will also have parallel kids programming so that the entire family is welcome to join! We’ll start into dinner around 5:30 and into the prayer practice at 6:30, ending each night around 7p. More information to come! If you’re able, please sign-up to bring soup! You can do so through this link (click here). 

Agape Meal Cooks Needed!

Our Agape Meal was such a sweet dinner last year, that we’ve decided to do it again. But this year, we’re enlisting some help with all the cooking. If you’re up for helping out by cooking a recipe (that Maggie and Emily will send along), or are able to do a grocery run, or can help set up and decorate the tables, please get in touch with Emily or Maggie. 

Need a parking spot?

We’ve got a parking lot under the Jordan Court apartment building that is available to anyone with challenges with mobility or anyone who regularly drives someone with challenges with mobility. If that is you, and you would like access to the parking garage on Sundays or other times when you are at the church, please reach out to Annie Rovzar,