From the Isaiah Project
Repairing the Breach: The Isaiah Project Begins It’s Work
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in. Isaiah 58:12
Our congregation responded to the Living Waters Capital Campaign with great generosity. In connection with the campaign, the Vestry voted unanimously to commit a tithe – 10 percent – of the pledged funds to a small number of projects that seek to meet the needs and do the work of justice in our surrounding East Bay communities. The Vestry also asked our rector to form an Isaiah Project team to make recommendations to the Vestry on what projects to fund. The team has been meeting over the last couple of months and currently consists of the following members: the Rev. Phil Brochard; Nathan Brostrom; Wendy Calimag; Lewis Maldonado; Toni Martinez-Borgfeldt; Paul Mathew; Mark Mattek; and Christine Trost.
As the first stage of our work, the Isaiah Project team is evaluating what focus areas we should consider and what type of impact we hope the All Souls’ grants to have. The team has committed to making recommendations to the Vestry by the end of this year on a small number of focus areas – probably no more than three – for further evaluation. If the Vestry approves those recommendations, then the Isaiah Project, as a second stage of work, will devote time in 2023 to looking at what organizations are doing important work in these focus areas and then return to the Vestry with recommendations on a small number of organizations that we would like to approach with requests to submit project proposals. At the Vestry’s direction, our efforts are geared towards ultimately funding a small number of projects – again, probably no more than three – with substantial grants rather than a larger number of organizations with smaller grants. In some instances, the grants may be spread over a three-year period instead of being made as a one-time payment. We will concentrate our efforts on East Bay communities in the area from Richmond to San Leandro.
The Isaiah Project team very much wants to hear from the congregation. To that end we have scheduled two listening sessions after church – on November 13 from 1:00-2:00 and November 20 from 1:00-2:00 – to hear your thoughts.
We all see on a daily basis how much need there is in our East Bay communities, how much must be done, in the words of Isaiah, to repair the breach. All Souls has previously engaged in the work of repair in a number of areas – immigration, racial justice, climate/environmental justice, foster youth, feeding the hungry, engaging with our neighbors in Berkeley who do not have housing and, of course, most recently and prominently, providing affordable housing through our Jordan Court project. These are all important areas and there are many others of equal importance with which we have not yet engaged. What are your thoughts on repairing the breach? What impact would you like our grants to have? If you had to choose just a couple of focus areas to which to devote our tithe, what would they be?
We have been living through difficult times – a global pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and growing divisions within our own country. It is easy to feel dispirited and overwhelmed. Yet, as Christians, we are a people of faith and hope. In times like these I often think back to the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in his Letter from Birmingham Jail, written in 1963, at a critical juncture for the Civil Rights movement. Dr. King sent a letter to certain fellow clergy from his jail cell, asking for their support and engagement. In making this request, he invoked the example of Christians from another difficult time, the years of the early church: “In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.”
The Isaiah Project is an opportunity for All Souls Episcopal Parish to take some small steps towards being, in Dr. King’s words, “a thermostat” in our local community. Please join us on either November 13 or November 20 to share your thoughts on how we might do that.
From Stephen Ministry
Reflection on Stephen Ministry from a Need-denier
“It’s a broken kneecap, I don’t need a Stephen Minister,” was my response when Madeline Feeley asked me if I might want one. The sub-text, in my mind, was that I was not having an existential or spiritual crisis. I would do my physical therapy and tough it out.
But through the next week I thought about it more. Why was I not accepting offered help? Meals were being delivered and I was not turning those down. I was very grateful for them. Did I feel that accepting a Stephen Minister would be an act of weakness? The truth was that I was weak (literally), betrayed by my otherwise healthy body having never broken a bone before this. And, I also felt isolated. Who was I kidding?
I got in touch with Madeline and said, ”Okay, yes, I would like a Stephen Minister. That would be helpful.”
For the next 6 months, one morning a week, I had a phone conversation with one of All Souls’ Stephen Ministers. I could tell her about each recent, crushingly disappointing physical therapy session. As those PT sessions progressed, I would also share the victories. We talked about much more though than my injury and recovery. Extended family issues, the Living Waters campaign, travels past and future, getting old, no topic was off the table. That hour was my connection to the outside world, and, when I was able to engage more with that world in person, it was time set aside for meaningful, companionable conversation.
When my physical therapy had ended (all my stated goals met!) we spoke a few more times and I decided I was ready to let go of the weekly visits.
The hardest part was accepting that I wanted (needed, actually) this help from our community. So grateful that God helped me get over myself and led me to my Stephen Minister.
Stephen Ministry Training Coming Up
All Souls is planning to offer a Stephen Ministry training class beginning in February 2023. If you have ever thought about becoming a Stephen Minister, please come to the informational meeting on Sunday, November 20 at 12:45pm in the Chapel. Find out the nuts & bolts of Stephen Ministry—how to apply, what’s involved in training, and (best of all!) offering your gift of compassionate listening to another. You can also learn more about what it is like to be a Stephen Minister here: Becoming a Stephen Minister (stephenministries.org). Can’t come to the session that Sunday? Contact Christina Robinson, 510.334.2419 or email@example.com for more information.
Advent is coming up! While more information about Advent 2022 is forthcoming, we wanted to get the word out now about the Advent In-Gatherings and what items will be collected this year.
The ASP Justice and Peace ministry team met on Sunday, 10/30, to discuss and decide on the four communities/organizations which All Soulsians will joyfully support for our Advent In-Gatherings this year. Below are the four communities/organizations and the dates that the donations will be collected at ASP. Monetary donations are welcome-please indicate the community on your check. The week prior to each In-Gathering, you will find specific information regarding the particular community in the Pathfinder and on the All Soul’s website.
Sunday 11/27: Youth Spirit Arts Tiny House Village.
Sunday 12/4 Roosevelt Middle School Newcomer Program
Sunday 12/11 Berkeley Encampments
Sunday 12/18 Berkeley Food Pantry
Many thanks, in advance, for your generosity in supporting these communities in need.
-Cathy Goshorn and Pat Jones
Save the Dates
- November 13 & 20, Isaiah Project Listening Session
- November 27, Advent Festival
- November 30, December 7 & 14, Advent Soup + Taize
- December 24, Christmas Eve services
Join us for worship this week:
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.
**please note that this coming Sunday we will have a photographer taking pictures for our new website. If you would prefer to opt out of having your picture taken, please see Emily.
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.
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
There are three class offerings this Sunday:
- 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 (Meeting ID: 811 8105 6561. Passcode: 516358), or join them in-person in the Common Room.
- Deep Listening: Life Skills From Stephen Ministry (in-person only) This is a three-part, interactive skills training designed to help you become a better listener in every area of your life. We’ll be using materials from Stephen Ministry to guide our conversations and interactions. Please join us as we practice offering a listening ear to one another. In our first class (October 30), we’ll explore why listening is important and practice some key behaviors that anyone can learn and use on a daily basis. We’ll reflect on how it feels when someone really listens to us – especially in an era of technology-frazzled attention spans. Our second class (November 13) will focus on active listening skills: How is this different from just hearing someone’s words? How can listening be called an active process, when we’re letting the other person do all the talking? Again, we will discuss and practice together. Our final class (November 20) is about reflective listening, a technique that helps the listener to stay engaged and the speaker to feel heard. We’ll practice together, and conclude by considering how we can best use our new strategies to really listen to those we encounter in our daily lives.
- Newcomer Class Are you new or relatively new to All Souls? Then you are invited to join us for our next round of our Newcomer Class. The Rev. Phil Brochard and Emily Hansen Curran will lead this four week class for folks who are looking to learn more about All Souls and what it means to be a member at All Souls. If this is you, please join us in the Common Room on October 30th, November 13th and November 20th during the Adult Formation Hour (10:10-11:10a). We’ll also offer this class via Zoom (click here to enter the call).
Children, Youth, and Family News
Sunday School Join us in the courtyard Sunday at 10:10 for grades Pre-K – 5 for the first of our two week session on Saints of the church!
Youth Group There is no regular youth group meeting this Sunday evening due to the camping trip Fri-Sat. Youth will meet Sunday morning at 10:10 for Office Hours in the Youth Room, and Confirm not Conform begins this Sunday at 10:10 in Phil’s old office for high school students.
Family Hike Save the date for our next family hike a week from Sunday on November 20th at 3:00pm. We will meet at the .Sequoia Bayview Trailhead at Joaquin Miller Park.
Email Maggie for more information about Children, Youth and Family Ministries at All Souls.
Other News & Notes
Diocese of California Bishop Search Listening Session – Alameda Deanery
St. Augustine’s, Oakland
Address: 525 29th Street, Oakland
Meeting ID: 860 0810 4716
One tap mobile:
+16699006833,,86008104716# US (San Jose)
Isaiah Project Listening Session
Stick around after the 11:15 service on November 13th and November 20 from 1-2 in the Parish Hall to contribute to the conversation around how we will spend our tithe towards the holy work of communal repair and restoration in the East Bay. The Isaiah Project team will be making recommendations to the Vestry in December about what focus areas to emphasize and what type of impact we want our tithe to have. The team wants to hear from the congregation before making its recommendations. The November sessions will feature a summary of the Isaiah Project’s work to date and will facilitate small group discussions to gather information from the congregation. All are welcome.
Emmaus Groups/Small Groups
This fall, we’re launching a new round of small groups, which we call Emmaus Groups. These are spiritual journeying groups that meet bi-weekly for 16 weeks at a time with the goal of journeying together in order to deepen our understanding of what it means to follow Jesus. They are mostly free-form(ish) and are a fabulous way to create and build community with others here at church. If you are interested, please contact Emily, firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Sacred Earth: Growing Beloved Community”
Click here to register for the Zoom link.
Join Bishop Marc Andrus for a new podcast in a new series entitled “Sacred Earth: Growing Beloved Community.” Each month introduces a new environmental leader discussing their work and the spiritual practices and learning that have shaped them and undergird their work.
Join in with the Episcopal Climate Advocacy at the United Nations Climate Conference
- Wednesday, November 30th at 12 PM ET: Episcopal COP27 Closing Event and Report Back from Delegates *Public event – invite your community!* Register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIrfuGrpzgqHNLTymlNpkHFXNa6naMZLeO7
If you are looking to set up your pledge for 2023, you may still do so by clicking on this form. There is also a super easy way to give to All Souls––for either a one-time donation or for your ongoing pledge––that is through an app called Vanco Mobile (what used to be called GivePlus). You can find this app through the app store on your phone. Once downloaded, search for All Souls Episcopal Parish and you’re in! If you’d prefer not to download the app, you can just as easily give online through our personalized online donation page by clicking here.
Come back to church at 5p on November 27th to kick off the start of the season of Advent with our annual Advent Festival. We’ll gather first to sing songs, pray, and read poetry, and then we’ll head into the Parish Hall where we’ll make Advent wreaths, receive this year’s Advent Booklet, make ornaments, and sip hot chocolate around the campfire. All are welcome, and feel free to bring some friends!
Advent Wednesday Soup Supper & Taize Service
This Advent we will resume our practice of a soup supper and Taize service on the Wednesday evenings in Advent. Join us at 6p in the Parish Hall for a soup supper, then at 6:45p we’ll head into the church for a candlelit Taize service of prayers, songs, silence, stories, and poetry. If you’re able, please sign-up to bring some soup or bread through this link (click here). November 30th, December 7th, and December 14th.