From the Associate Rector

Giving Thanks

I took a walk with McEwen this morning to the park near his grandparents’ house. On the way I chatted on the phone with an All Soulsian. When I arrived back to their home, my inbox was full with the necessary articles for today’s Pathfinder. Information about how to donate to the Roosevelt Middle School Newcomer Program, and updates on the good work being done by our Vestry. It occurred to me that even in the hustle and bustle of the beginning of the holiday season, in the midst of family time and meal preparations, All Soulsians are still holding the needs of others close to their hearts. I don’t have much to say about that, other than that sort of attention to the needs of others is a natural byproduct from a life lived with deep gratitude. What a perfect reminder for the day before Thanksgiving. Today, I give thanks for all of you. I’ll leave you to your celebrations with just a few more words from John O’Donahue:

“May we all receive blessing upon blessing. And may we realize our power to bless, heal, and renew one another.”


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

Roosevelt Middle School Newcomer Program

The ASP In-Gathering for the Roosevelt Middle School is Sunday, 12/4.  Please refer to the In-Gathering link on the website to donate.

Thank you for contributing items for the Roosevelt Middle School Newcomer Program! At Roosevelt, we have 45 Newcomer students, which means they are in their first U.S. school, many arriving from Guatemala, Yemen and Vietnam. They are an incredible asset to our school community and we would love to show their families support. The following items would be wonderful to share with them at the holidays, or other items that you think an 11-14 year old would enjoy.

  • sports equipment such as basketballs, soccer balls, skateboards
  • clothing such as gloves, hats, jackets, boots, hoodie sweatshirts
  • recreation activities such as board games, card games, craft kits, painting sets or headphones
  • books such as graphic novels or young adult books written in Spanish, Cantonese or Vietnamese

Please contact Molly Nichol with questions.

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.

From the Vestry

November Meeting Summary

Our meeting of November 16 covered a range of issues, from the pro forma to the very complex and substantive.

Spiritual Reflection: Chaplain Nydia MacGregor began the meeting with a blessing. She recited from To Bless the Space Between Us by John O’Donohue. The selected passage, FOR PRESENCE, begins with “Awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.” Vestry members shared their thoughts and reflections on the breadth and the depth of the spiritual/religious messages in the blessing.

Consent Agenda: Vestry minutes for the October 19 and the November 7 meetings, the Treasurer’s report (including Year to Date Profit and Loss), and the Living Waters Financial Statements were the consent agenda items that were presented and approved.

Finance Committee report: Treasurer Shelley Altura briefly described the Finance Committee’s reviews of the 2022 budget in October and November for updates to help in formulating the budget for 2023, a draft of which was presented. On the income side we now have pledges that have come in relatively well, but are still below our budgeted amount. New revenues from Jordan Court could help income. Expenses will include $12,000 for the new website. Also, maintenance costs will increase in 2023. An immediate capital cost was approved to improve the safety of the rails on the lower level of the stairs at the western door (towards Jordan Court).

Living Waters Projects: Design: Property Committee Chair Patrick Tahara reported that the committee has a recommended architectural firm and a contractor short list. Nate Conable, chair of the architect subcommittee, described the process followed for the architectural firm selection. The Vestry approved the selection of HY Architects and the Committee is authorized to negotiate design and construction administration services with them for the Living Waters Renovation project and associated work. Construction: The Property Committee solicited 14 contractors. To select a short list, four criteria were used: (1) to have an East Bay presence (2) to have commercial renovation and elevator experience (3) to be minority/women owned (4) to have experience with the City of Berkely approval process. Four firms were selected for proposals and interviews. The Vestry approved the four firms from whom the contactor will be selected, following a process similar to the architect selection. Thanks were given for the hard work of the Property Committee, especially that of Patrick Tahara.

Jordan Court Integration:  Tax Issue: Phil+ reported that All Souls had received an annual property tax bill from Alameda County for $127,000. This is based on an appraised value of $6,100,000 for the ASEP offices and the two apartments in Jordan Court. We should be 100% exempt under the welfare exemption, as we were with the torn down Parish House. Bob Cross is assisting Phil in the effort to get the exemption. We are getting assistance from SAHA (Satellite Affordable housing Associates), the Diocese of California, and an Episcopalian who has historic ties to the Assessor’s office. Regulatory Agreements for funds provided by Alameda County to help construct Jordan Court are still in dispute. The County wants All Souls to record a Deed of Trust against our land under Jordan Court. We will not (cannot) do that. Again, Bob Cross (with input from Joe Garrett) is working with Phil, SAHA and the Diocese on this issue.

Active Ministry Listening and Learning: Kim Wong reported that “Eucharistic Visiting” will be starting again. The acolytes are getting organized. Intercessors and Lectors are plugging along, as are Ushers and Oblates. There are fewer volunteers than before Covid, and there is room for growth. The Sacristans have a new leader.

Rector’s Updates: Phil+ reflected on pre pandemic M4-Monday evening ministries’ meetings of groups where there had been 50-60 attending representing 8-10 ministries. Then with Covid we have had only 10 people participating on Zoom and two teams. A proposed change is to meet together on the 3rd Sunday of each month and to have a brief check-in by each group, e.g.: justice & Peace, youth, newcomer & greeters.

Closing Prayers were begun by Nydia, which concluded with “Keep Watch dear Lord…”. 

-Kirk Miller

Save the Dates

  • 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.
    • The Infancy Narratives @10:10a. Click hereClick here to join by Zoom, or join them in person in the Parish Hall.

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 first of our two week session on Advent Prayer Practices.

Youth Group No Youth Group this Sunday, as we will be celebrating the beginning of Advent at the Advent Festival!

Confirm Not Conform Continues this Sunday at 10:10am in Maggie’s Office.

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. 

“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.