From the Rector

Shoot, Stump, Branch, Root

In ten days we will return to the beginning, to the time of preparation, to the season of readiness known as Advent. Centuries ago the Church understood that in order to come close to a Mystery as profound as the infinite made finite, of God made human, we needed time to prepare. And our forms of preparation have often involved practices, ways of making visible and tangible the beliefs that we were leaning into.

And so over time this season took on shape, many different shapes actually. Depending on need, surrounding culture, and circumstance, traditions––like the color blue or purple, or a wreath of evergreens, or O Antiphons, or a calendar of days until Christmas––emerged. All of these traditions were meant to help Christians pause, consider, make space, and prepare the Way for Christ to be present once again.

This Advent at All Souls Parish we will be practicing many of these ways, and we have chosen a verse to ground us that may be familiar to those who have kept Advent before. It comes from the prophet Isaiah, from chapter 11, “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” (Is. 11:1) Christians have found meaning in this text for hundreds of years, and particularly in relationship with some of the verses that follow, that are evocative of the ways that the Christ enacted God’s vision for all of humankind.  

There was an even more particular reason that we chose this verse for to pray with this year, and it has to do with the moment we collectively find ourselves in. As we begin to emerge from this pandemic and are beginning to feel all of the feels from these last few years, this text of new life coming out of what has been considered dead has deep resonance. 

You’ll hear this verse sung as an “O Antiphon” as part of our Advent Festival liturgy on the evening of the first Sunday of Advent. (November 30th at 5p in the courtyard) This verse will be the through-line of our new Advent booklet that can accompany your days and nights through this season, alongside your Advent Wreath. And it will be one that All Soulsians will be reflecting upon as they tell stories for our Advent Taize services the first three Wednesday evenings in Advent.

Just over a week out from Advent, before the intensity of the feast of Thanksgiving, my invitation to every All Soulsian is to get ready. Make space this Advent in your home and in your days to listen, to be quiet, to allow God to be present in you. Let the prophet Isaiah guide you, for even in the most unlikely of places, shoots are growing.



From Children’s Ministry

Join us for Christmas Caroling!

The Faithful Families of All Souls invite one and all to join us on December 11th for an afternoon of Christmas Caroling! This idea emerged because there are several All Souls families who live along a short stretch of road in Berkeley/Albany, and we thought it would be fun to visit all their houses and sing some Christmas Carols along the way. We will start at the Nicols’ house at 4:00pm for some chili and vocal warmups 😉 and we’ll visit the houses of a few other All Souls families for refreshments, caroling, and merriment along the way, finishing at the Lynches’ house for some of Liz’s famous cookies. The entire route will be about a mile, with several long stops along the way! Please RSVP using the following link, and you’ll receive an email confirmation with the Nicols’ address.Please RSVP using the following link, and you’ll receive an email confirmation with the Nicols’ address. Looking forward to caroling with you!

Advent In-Gatherings

As we pray for our unhoused neighbors this season, we can embrace the opportunity to support the growing Tiny House village created by Youth Spirit Artworks (YSA).  With an extensive volunteer network, YSA has grown a village of 26 tiny houses and the village is expanding!  Six new homes will be available for formerly house-less young adults ages 18-24 starting in January. With a goal of 100 tiny homes as the North star, countless community members including ASP have rolled up sleeves to build, paint, outfit, and bless the growing community of homes. Along with housing, the YSA model includes vital programming such as job training and mentorship that will enable vulnerable young adults to live, work, commune, and transform for up to two years in the lovingly crafted village at 633 Hegenberger Road in Oakland.

For our first Advent Ingathering we will gather requested items and raise funds to furnish a new home. Any duplicate items will go to good use as well. Thank you for your generosity. Questions? Send an email to Jenny Kern at

Requested Items:

1. Mattress- or contribution toward
2.  (2) sets of sheets
3.  Blankets
4.  Pillow  1-2
5.  2 Body Towels
6.  2 wash cloths
7.  Shower Caddy
8.  Shower Flip-flops
9.  Soap, shampoo
10. Tooth Brush and Tooth Paste
11.  Small Dresser
12.  Chair
13.  Lamp
14.  Bedside Table
15.  Welcome Letter
16.  Food and Snacks
17.  Beverage (flat or Sparkling H20)
18.  Reusable Water Bottle.

19. mountable hooks

20. Sauce pan and small frying pan

Eucharistic Minister and Visitor Training

Have you ever wanted to serve the chalice during communion? What about taking communion to the home of someone unable to make it to church in person? We will be training volunteers for both of these important ministries after the 11:15am service on December 4th. Advent is a wonderful time to try on new practices, so if you’ve ever been curious about participating in the liturgy in this way, we encourage you to come to this training.

Save the Dates

  • November 20, Isaiah Project Listening Session, Family Hike
  • November 27, Advent Festival
  • November 30, December 7 & 14, Advent Soup + Taize
  • December 4, Lay Eucharistic Minister & Visitor Training
  • December 11, Faithful Families Christmas Caroling
  • December 24, Christmas Eve services

Weekly Worship

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.

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).

Coming up in Adult Formation

The Infancy Narratives in the Gospels, November 27, December 4 & 11

In this three-part class, Dr. Sharon Jacob, Visiting Professor of New Testament and Postcolonial Studies at Claremont School of Theology, will examine the infancy narratives of the gospels alongside views of motherhood in both Colonial and Post-Colonial India. Using the lens of surrogacy, she will examine the character of Joseph in Matthew and Mary in Luke.

  • Nov 27: Motherhood in Colonial and Postcolonial Contexts. This first class will provide an overview of the ways Motherhood was commercialized and capitalized in both Colonial and Post-Colonial Contexts of India.
  • Dec 4: Infancy Narrative in the Gospel of Matthew in the Context of Post-Colonial Surrogacy. The second class in the series will look at the Infancy Narratives in the Gospel of Matthew. In particular, we will look at the character of Joseph in Matthew through the contextual lens of surrogacy in postcolonial India.
  • Dec 11: Violent Love, Oppressive Liberation: Reading Mary alongside Surrogate Mothers. The final class in the series will look at Mary in the Gospel of Luke. We read this character alongside Surrogate mothers in Post-Colonial India and nuance the ways in which Motherhood has come to be defined in our modern contexts.

Sharon Jacob holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Bangalore University, an M.Div from Lancaster Theological Seminary, a M.S.T. from Yale Divinity School and a Phd from Drew University. She taught at Philips Theological Seminary and Pacific School of Religion before accepting her current appointment at Claremont Theological School.

Children, Youth, and Family News

Sunday School Join us in the courtyard Sunday at 10:10 for grades Pre-K – 5 for the second of our two week session on Saints of the church!

Youth Group Youth group continues this Sunday with morning office hours in the Youth Room at 10:10, as well as youth group on Sunday evening from 7-8:30 in the Parish Hall.

Confirm Not Conform Continues this Sunday at 10:10am in the undercroft.

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.

Faithful Families Join us on December 11th for Christmas Caroling! Information in the article above!

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

Other News & Notes

Advent Festival

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. 

Isaiah Project Listening Session

Stick around after the 11:15 service this Sunday from 1-2 in the Common Room 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.

Stephen Ministry Information Session

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 information session 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 ( Can’t come to the session that Sunday? Contact Christina Robinson, 510.334.2419 or for more information.

“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

Online Giving

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.