From the Rector
Together to Remember
The day that I received my Grandma Rowe’s cookie recipe was an important one for me. Her oatmeal chocolate chip cookies were a steady downbeat in my childhood and into my adulthood. Unreserved love, an ability to laugh at just about any season in life, and those oatmeal chocolate chip cookies were things that I could count on with my Grandma Rowe.
When she died it was an honor to be offered her recipe for those cookies. The irony was that it wasn’t a secret-passed-down-through the family recipe––it had been cut out a magazine. But that didn’t matter, because now I had the opportunity to bake those cookies and remember her love and our lives together. Just smelling those cookies in the oven brings me back to her kitchen and the warmth of her embrace.
We’ve come to the time of the year when cultures around the world mark the transition between life to death and what lies beyond. Perhaps it’s because the days are drawing shorter and shorter in this hemisphere. Maybe it’s because it’s a time when the harvest has finally come in and there’s more time to reflect about what has been and what is to come. But for many this season is a time to remember.
In the Western Christian tradition we remember in a very particular way, with an autumnal Triduum of sorts––All Hallow’s Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day. Each fall we reflect, remember, and lean into the promises about death and life that our sacred texts and rituals teach us. These containers remind us that Life remains, even in the face of death. But we have to be willing to re-member, to bring before God all those whom we love and see no longer. It is a practice that we do each year, together.
This Sunday at All Souls there will be many ways to remember. At our 9a and 11:15a services we will be praying the names of those who have died this past year as we gather with the communion of saints around the table. We will be singing about our longing and our trust and our hope. And we will hold up to God all those who walked this path before us, who showed us the Way ahead.
As you will read in Lenore Williamson’s article below in this edition of the Pathfinder, in the back of the Nave we will be constructing a vine and you will be invited to write on a leaf the name of someone who helped you along the way, and over the next several weeks we will watch as this vine grows and grows. And, as Martin Ortega wrote in last week’s Pathfinder, we will also be eating together, sharing food that our beloveds once made for us.
So, in these next few days, as the sun sets earlier and earlier, I invite you to remember. Remember those you have loved, bring them in heart and mind and spirit on Sunday to celebrate with us and with God. Together, in food and art and silence and song, we will remember.
The Vine of Life
Remembrance of Saints and Souls in our Lives
On November 6th we will celebrate in community All Saints and All Souls Day during our Sunday services. On this day, and the following two Sundays, we will be remembering the personal saints, with a small “s” we have known. The people in our lives who showed us what it is to be a Christian or “changed the arc in our life” as Tom Varghese spoke about in his homily this last Sunday.
Hanging on the back, east wall of the sanctuary, will be an artistic rendering of a growing vine of life. Nearby on a table will be baskets of green, lokta paper leaves for you to write the name(s) of those special souls who have made us who we are today. Press your named leaves to the glue dots provided and stick them on the Vine of Life where you wish.
Keeping with All Souls Parish’s belief in sustainability in our world’s ecosystems, the lokta paper used for these green leaves comes from a Daphne shrub, which grows wild in Nepal
forests. It is a non-wood forest product that automatically regenerates once harvested to a fully grown plant in 5-7 years. Rural Nepalese women handmake lokta based craft paper from the bark, and this provides them with an income to feed and school their children.
Come, make the Vine of Life grow full of leaves the next 3 Sundays with the names of those we loved and guided us through our life, so we now can share them with our beloved community.
-Lenore Williamson, Arts at All Souls
Reflection from an Emmaus Group
Our Emmaus group began meeting in the fall of 2019 and we have been together every other Wednesday since. As you can see from the reflections that follow, this group has come to be a touchstone for each of us over the years. Feel free to reach out to Emily or one of our members if you would like to learn more about Emmaus (you can also read more about Emmaus Groups in a previous newsletter piece that Emily wrote about them–click here to read).
There are seven women in our Emmaus group, ranging in age from 39 to 85. We meet twice monthly at a member’s house; during the pandemic we met on Zoom. One person moved away, but we haven’t lost her, as she joins us via Zoom. At one monthly meeting we discuss the sermon from the previous Sunday, and at the other we study the Gospel for the following Sunday, using Lectio Divina. We encourage each other in our faith journeys. There’s a spirit of generosity and kindness — just like church.
Our Emmaus group has been a great support through the pandemic. It is a place to be authentic, to belong, to explore our relationship with the Divine—- a wonderful place to grow and change. Perhaps the best part is the strong bond we feel and the delight each time we see one another.
Emmaus has meant that I AM NOT ALONE — in discerning how to respond to problems and gifts and questions about my calling. We lift up each person’s issues and pray for each other continually.
Emmaus keeps me honest with myself as I seek deeper understanding of my relationship with God.
Emmaus has been a soft and safe place to land as I explore our beliefs and feelings about all God has given us. I have been supported to be my most authentic self with y’all. All in all, that stretch of sharing, listening, and being has moved me closer to God, given me a deep appreciation of All Souls and let me love you with joyful abandon. Dang, I feel lucky!
What would I do without my Emmaus sisters?! Each time we meet is rich with love for one another, learning alongside and from each other and laughter along the way. These sustain me in my journey until the next time we meet.
Our Emmaus group provides me with a twice-monthly deeply engaging evening with six wonderful women. Whether we discuss the sermon or reflect on the Gospel via lectio divina, I always learn from my fellow sojourners’ insights. We laugh a lot, cry sometimes and pray with and for each other always. These women have become my family within my family of All Souls.
-Mardie Becker, Janet Chisholm, Kaki Logan, Terry Trotter, Suzanne Nelson, Pat Jones and Molly Nicol
Caring for All Souls, Minds and Bodies
Before the Covid 19 virus forced our community to stop worshipping in person, we had a vibrant healing ministry. During Holy Communion, all were invited to go to the back of the church to receive a prayer of healing and an opportunity to be blessed with healing oil. People brought their open hearts, ready to receive care for whatever was weighing on them spiritually, emotionally or physically. They would request prayers for themselves, family and friends.
It has been almost three years now since we stood together without fear of infection. Something happened during those sacred moments shared between each other, where the person requesting prayers of healing, and the person praying entered into prayer and both came out effected by the movement of the Holy Spirit. When I stood in the back of the church as beautiful music was being sung by the choir and congregation, it was moving just to see our community from behind. I found myself praying for each person there. Even if I could only see the back of their heads, I knew that everyone in the sanctuary was carrying something that they would be bringing to God in their own hearts. So, I would let their prayers and mine for them mix in with the music and rise up like incense to God our healer and provider.
Now as we are finding safe and healthy ways to resume many of our ministries at All Souls, we are able to offer the rite of anointing and healing prayer as part of the 9am and 11:15am services. If you are interested in being a healing minister email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Whether you have been a part of this ministry in the past or want to learn more, you are invited to join in as we re-enliven this meaningful ministry. Soon we hope to have healing ministers in the back of the church again.
Looking forward to seeing you in that sacred space soon!
Save the Dates
- November 6, All Saints/All Souls Day with potluck between services!
- November 13 & 20, Isaiah Project Listening Session
- November 27, Advent Festival
- November 30, December 7 & 14, Advent Soup + Taize
Join us for worship this week:
- 9am, in-person, indoors
- 11:15am, in-person, indoors. (click here to access the live stream)
- 5p, 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 no classes this Sunday due to the All Souls/All Saints Potluck, but classes will resume on November 13th.
Classes resuming on November 13th:
- 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 There is no Sunday School this week, join us between services to celebrate All Saints/All Souls Day in the courtyard and parish hall with a potluck.
Youth Group Continues this week Sunday evening at 6:30pm! Please note the earlier time, as we will be watching a documentary about a saint of our church, Pauli Murray, and we want to make sure we have time to see the whole thing!
Family Movie Night: Encanto is coming up on November 4th at 6:00pm in the Parish Hall. Popcorn provided, BYO drinks. Singing along is encouraged! Hope to see you there!
Email Maggie for more information about Children, Youth and Family Ministries at All Souls.
Other News & Notes
All Saints/All Souls Day Potluck
November 6th is the day we will celebrate our Feast of Title, All Souls/All Saints Day. Please bring a dish to share for our potluck (which will take place between the 9 & 11:15 services in the courtyard). This year, as in years previous, please bring a dish that reminds you or was introduced to you by someone you love, but see no longer. Feel free to write up a small story or note about the dish to go along with it on the table so others can share in the love for these souls who have gone before us.
Help Wanted: General Contractors
As you may know, now that we have raised funds for the Living Waters project, have surveyed the congregation over the summer, and recently held several listening sessions to discern where the energy is for the many projects before us, we are now interviewing firms to help us bring our hopes to reality.
At this time, The Property Committee is asking the congregation for suggestions of General Contractors who may work with ASEP on the Living Waters Project. We are looking for these qualities as we evaluate the pool of General Contractors.
- Local East Bay presence
- Experience in renovations of this building type.
- MBE / WBE or Minority Owned or Women Owned firm
- Experience working in Berkeley
If you have suggestions for a General Contractor please submit them to Patrick Tahara (email@example.com) by Sunday, 11/6/22.
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.
Stephen Ministry Informational Meeting
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Church Office Hours
Staff & Clergy can be reached Sunday-Thursday by phone/text/or email. Tuesday-Thursday from 10-5p you can find staff & clergy in the office. You can reach an on-call clergy at any time by calling our church offices and pressing “8” for the on-call priest.
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, email@example.com.
Podcast: “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
- Tuesday, November 1st at 12 PM ET: Episcopal Climate Advocacy at the UN: COP27 Kick-Off with the Presiding Bishop’s Delegation *Public event – invite your community!* Register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMtce-hqjgrGNF4n1NyZPiJMONE1rSl8C6E
- 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!