The Rev. Phil Brochard, Rector

Come to Re-member

Depending on the language, different cultures call on various metaphors to define what it means to bring into the present events or people that we have experienced in the past. Whether it is to “know again,” or to “call into being,” a particular word is attempting to bring something that has been into the experience of the now.

I am grateful for one of the ways that we do this in English, when we choose to remember. At this time of the year especially, to re-member is a powerful way to understand the ways that we are connected to those who have died.

You may have heard me preach about this, or have read a reflection about this, but I believe that it bears repeating, as it is so essential to our life as Christians and as members of a parish called All Souls.

When we celebrate these three days each Fall, what we have come to know as Hallowe’en, All Saints, and All Souls, it can serve as its own Paschal Triduum—much like the Mystery that we celebrate every Spring, the Three Great Days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter.

Both of these cycles delve into what it means to be alive, what it means to die, and what it means to live with God. These three days have their own flavor. (and despite what Trader Joe’s has been trying to sell me, it’s not pumpkin) Thanks to ancient Celtic and Meso-American practices that the Christian Church recognized and incorporated (literally brought into our body) at this time of the year we have found it generative to embody beliefs of life in the midst of death in particular ways.

As Michelle Barger has written about below, we have done this many ways over the years—with a Tree of Life and a Day of the Dead altar. This year, like last year, we will borrow a practice from St. Michael’s & All Angels, Portland Oregon. We will be hanging ribbons around our sacred spaces and all will be invited to attach photos of those we have loved and see no longer. In my experience, as we do this, it becomes clearer and clearer that we are indeed surrounded by a cloud of witnesses.

We do this because it is an essential act of faith that as Christians we re-member, that we recognize the wholeness of the Body of Christ—those who have gone before us and those who are yet to be. It’s not that our acts of worship effect this, but that when we engage in these acts of remembering, we see around us, and can know within us, the reality of Communion that pervades and sustains life itself.

Please join us this Sunday of All Saints & All Souls. Come to give thanks and hold up those whom you have loved. Come to lean into the trust that these saints surround us, and that with God they sustain us. Come to re-member.


From Arts at All Souls

cloud of witnessesA Cloud of Witnesses for All Saints Sunday

Every year, we pause on All Saints Sunday to remember loved ones who have gone before us. This has taken various forms over the years, borrowing from different cultures and traditions to experience the ways in which people remember and bring close those they love. This year, we will be bringing back a practice we experienced last year where we surround ourselves during worship with a visual Cloud of Witnesses. Fabric panels hanging from the columns in the nave, and panels hanging in the chapel, will serve as supports for paper photographs of a parent, friend, cousin, neighbor, sibling, spouse, or perhaps someone we’ve never met.

Please bring your photographs this Sunday (no frames, and please write your name on the back), and each of the Sundays before Advent. Together we will bring close and worship among the Cloud of Witnesses in our collective lives.

— Michelle Barger

Caring for Creation: Hope & Action for Climate Justice

climate actionWelcoming Mayor Arreguin, Bishop Marc, and others

Back in August, our vestry at All Souls voted unanimously to take on Climate Justice as a priority of integrative ministry for the entire parish this year, affirming that:

“We resolve that the parish embrace climate justice as a parish priority in our education, action, worship, and prayer life. The parish will pursue joint action by engaging ministry teams in this effort and by collaborating with other faith communities.”

In November, we will be taking a big step forward with this initiative, titled “Caring for Creation: Hope & Action for Climate Justice,” beginning with a kickoff and teaching on November 10th at 10:10 am in the Parish Hall. That morning, we will welcome Mayor Jesse Arreguin, who will be offering a city proclamation supporting this Climate Justice work; and Bishop Marc, who will be guiding us with his vision and teaching. We will also be joined by Berkeley councilmember Cheryl Davila. Then on November 17th, we will welcome David Hochschild, Chair of the California Energy Commission, and on November 24th, we will be joined by Joanna Macy, PhD, systems thinker and educator.

The aspirational goal of this year-long initiative and in particular of this three-part teaching series this fall is to deepen the spiritual development of the parish while also providing a range of opportunities for action, from individual and family to community and civil society.

Please join us, invite friends, and come prepared to welcome newcomers on November 10th!

— Justice and Peace Team

From the Associate for Ministry Development

Emily_Hansen_CurranNewcomer Class, starting soon!

If you are new to All Souls, or if you have been attending for a little while but have not yet become a member, you are invited to join us for our upcoming Newcomer Class series starting November 10th and going through the 24th during the Formation Hour (between the 9 & 11:15 services) in the Common Room.

In this class we will discuss what it means to be a member here at All Souls while taking a brief look at the history, values, and practices of both the Episcopal Church and All Souls specifically. Then, on December 8th, there will be a New Member Ceremony where those of you who were able to attend the November 10th class will be invited to join as a member of this parish. If you’re not able to attend on the 10th—not to worry—there will be another opportunity to join as a member in the spring. For any questions, please see me or email me,
— Emily


THIS Sunday, November 3rd is Daylight Saving Time. Enjoy the hour of rest!


Continuing the Feast & Goodbye for Liz Tichenor

Please bring something tasty to share at the  festive brunch between the 9:00 and 11:15 am services, roughly 10:15. This would be the perfect time to break out the favorite, signature recipe of someone you’ve loved who has passed on — what a feast that could be!

We are also collecting a gift of appreciation (a purse) for Liz for the many years that she has given to this parish and to this community. You can send a check in to the office, drop one in the plate, or hand deliver it to Emily (with gift for Liz in the memo line).

Also, please note that there will be note that there will be incense at the 11:15 service.


This past Sunday at All Souls was tremendous. The remarkable generosity shown by a great many people in our parish community has already brought us a long way towards enacting the work we are called to do in 2020. This initial response has been inspiring and we hope you will join in sustaining our shared ministry: we aren’t there yet, and we really need your help.

If you weren’t here on Sunday, you’ll receive your pledge card in the mail this week. You can also make your pledge to All Souls by using the secure online form, learn more about this year’s stewardship campaign, and listen to recent sermons — all available here. Thank you!!