From the Rector

A New Line on the Ice

To begin our Tuesday morning staff meetings each week every member of the staff shares a word, a phrase, or an image that is indicative of where we are that day. This practice has been a way to ground ourselves as we engage in the work at hand as well as to pay attention and care for one another. It has helped us as a group to understand each other and love one another, especially in these challenging times. One of us then gathers up these words and phrases and images into a prayer, a collect that begins our time together.

Sometimes the word/phrase/image is short, just a few sentences, often it involves the telling of a story or two. This past week our Associate for Ministry Development Emily Hansen Curran began our time of check-in and prayer with an image that she had been feeling for awhile, that of a hockey line change.

For the uninitiated, hockey is quite possibly the fastest moving sport, played as a series of sprints on the ice – most shifts on the ice last for under a minute. As a result, there are a lot of substitutions, many of them on the fly, as players enter and exit the ice. For a quick video of hockey line changes, let me recommend noted hockey fan Snoop Dogg’s excellent video.

It is no mystery why this image might have been on Emily’s heart and mind. The last six months of life in this world have been incredibly taxing. And for the last two of these months that I have been on sabbatical Emily was part of a host of people giving a great deal of time, energy, and attention. The Rt. Rev. Nedi Rivera preached and presided, guided and counseled the staff and Vestry in my absence. Our staff­­ – Emily, Annie, Whitney, and Jamie­­ – continued to be steadfast, responsive, and creative. The Wardens, Joe and Toni, rose to significant challenges as the Jordan Court project ran into 11th-hour hurdles. In all, it was a demanding couple of months.

This is why Emily was grateful to get to this past Tuesday, September 8th, a day that marked a much-awaited line change. I returned from sabbatical rested, reflective, and ready. And after months of anticipation, the Rev. Maggie Foote joined us, thanks be to God! She is ready for the work of pastoral care, children, youth and families, and communications. And, after months of work, we are very close to new possibilities for gathering and worship.

Speaking for this member of the line change, I am incredibly grateful for the time to rest and reflect. I’ll say more about the fruits of my sabbatical this Sunday in the livechat following the 10:30 am service, but it was what I had hoped it would be: reflective and restful, creative and generative.

Now it’s back on the ice, ready to help make Jordan Court a reality, find new ways to connect, learn, serve, worship, and pray, and give some of our amazing skaters a chance to catch their breath.


From the Stewardship Committee

Update on Stewardship

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. They shall be like a tree planted by water sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and does not cease to bear fruit. —Jeremiah 17 7:8

The stewardship committee chose this passage from Jeremiah as this year’s theme many months ago while we were still meeting in person and I was surprised and delighted to see the large redwood that appeared behind the altar this August. While it’s difficult to see the details during the Sunday service feed, this tree is teeming with life. Birds, frogs, butterflies, cats, bears, deer, snakes, bats, deer and more are found in its branches. I love this image of our community. It is life giving and it is not anxious.

The prophet Jeremiah lived during one of the most turbulent times in Israel’s history that witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and the kingdom of Judah’s exile to Babylon. At times he was lonely, persecuted and imprisoned. Yet through his lamentations held tight to his faith in God and painted a clear vision of God’s love in spite of the destruction that surrounded him.

This year’s stewardship campaign will kick off on September 27th. In place of our tradition kick off brunch, we will have a presentation after the service. Look for details soon. In-gathering Sunday, the start of the pledging period, will be on Sunday, October 25th. We are working on ways to integrate the community participation of the traditional in-service pledge offering and the on-line reality of today. We also have a thought about celebrating our community later that day. We’ll keep you posted. Regardless of how it is executed this year, the stewardship committee seeks to encourage all of us to give generously and deliberately. And we want to help answer any questions you might have with the state of All Soul’s finances. You will hear more from us in the coming months and we encourage your questions. Feel free to reach out to Eric Legrand or Richard Lynch with any questions.

Justice and Peace Ministry

Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
We will, with God’s help!

This is our charge from the Baptismal Covenant. What justice and peace issues concern you? What are you already working on?

Our Justice and Peace Team is open to new ideas and new projects, so let’s talk! Join our team meetings on Zoom at 7:00 pm, the second Monday of the month. Contact: Janet Chisholm, and Lewis Maldonado,

These are project areas we hope to continue:

  • Organizing Sunday Advent in-gatherings for parishioners to bring goods and other support for community groups.
  • Offering food and shelter: helping build and furnish tiny homes for youth, supporting safe car parks, supplying sandwiches and meals, stocking a local food bank, and contributing sleeping bags and tents.
  • Partnering to support foster youth.
  • Pursuing racial justice: Advocating and helping plan the current parish-wide Sacred Ground program for small groups in dialogue over 20 weeks – and then helping to harvest and actualize their ideas for moving forward. Arranging three adult formation classes on criminal justice with the Ella Baker Center, and joining parishioners for the Just Mercy movie and discussion. Responding to the George Floyd police murder by erecting a banner outside All Souls with a Dr. King quotation accompanied by “Black Lives Matter.” Past events included offering nonviolence training and leadership for churches marching to oppose white supremacy, participating with the organization, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), and hosting a movie and discussion for the community on the film Traces of the Trade.
  • Advocating Climate Justice as a parish commitment, arranging this month’s All Parish Retreat program and presenter, offering six adult formation sessions with notable presenters this past fall and spring, participating in the No Coal in Oakland Campaign, and sharing ways to reduce our individual and parish carbon footprints.
  • Participating with and offering financial assistance to justice organizations, including two interfaith groups, the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, focused on immigration, and the Interfaith Coalition for Alameda County focused on support for the unhoused, No Coal Oakland, and the census.
  • Supporting immigrants: legal support, attorney’s fees and bail funds, attendance at vigils, legislative advocacy. In the recent past, offering housing in the Parish House which is now demolished in order to build new affordable senior apartments.
  • Offering centering prayer in the chapel (on hold during Covid).
  • Creating a yearly graduation party for the Options Recovery program.


Sunday Livestreaming News
The livestream of Sunday services continues to be available through our website, rather than only on Facebook. Visit the Streaming Services page to watch on Sunday morning.

Adult Formation Class this Sunday
This Sunday is a Stump the Priests with the Rev. Phil Brochard back from sabbatical and our new Associate Rector, the Rev. Maggie Foote! Formation hour starts at 9:15 am and will go until about 10:15 am. You can find the link to the class here or on our Virtual Formation page.

Parish Retreat
This year’s Parish Retreat will be one for the books for many reasons, but first and foremost because the Rev. Dr. Vincent Pizzuto of St. Columba’s in Inverness will be joining us as our retreat speaker this year! The theme this year is Creation and Incarnation, following our Justice & Peace team’s attention to climate justice in the 2019-20 academic Adult Formation year. From Fr. Vincent: “The Incarnation is not merely a human event, but one in which all of Creation is so thoroughly infused with the Divine that Christ might “be all and in all” (Col. 3:11).” Building upon this scriptural imperative, Fr. Vincent will explore the cosmological implications of the Incarnation which underlie the urgency of Christian ecological discipleship in the world.

You can register for the retreat here. And, there is still space at the Ranch if you would like to attend the Ranch for the full weekend. Sign-up with the Ranch here!

A’s vs. Giants baseball night at All Souls!
Yes, it’s true we can’t do our traditional ballgame night at the Coliseum. Those seats are now filled with cardboard cutouts of fans. But we CAN gather in the courtyard at All Souls, A’s and Giants fans in one happy gathering, with two TV screens tuned to the Bay Bridge series on Friday September 18 at 6:30 pm. All COVID protocols will be followed starting with appropriately spaced seating. Some “ballpark themed” food & beverages will be provided (individually wrapped), and you will be invited to bring your own as well. And you MUST wear your A’s or Giants swag.

We are strictly limited to 25 total guests, so please RSVP only if you are sure you can come. We will maintain a limited waiting list if we are oversubscribed. RSVP here! Or email Don Gates,, for more info.

Children & Family News
We will be doing a children’s chapel program this Sunday at 9:30 am via Zoom. It should last about 30 minutes. Please email Whitney Wilson for a link so your family can participate. We are hoping that this will give the kids a time together for their own “church” and a time to see their friends as well. Please email Whitney Wilson at if you want a Zoom invite or have any questions.
If you are looking for some current information regarding Children’s Chapel or the upcoming Kids Book Club, check out the new additions to our website, which has been updated to include some new information and resources (including the links for all the storybook videos) for families.

All Souls After Hours
This week’s After Hours will feature a fireside chat with the Rev. Phil Brochard, freshly back from sabbatical. We’ll host this on a new Facebook stream following the service on Sunday, available on our All Souls Episcopal Parish Facebook page, where Phil will answer questions about his sabbatical or updates on the parish. Bring your questions!

Evening Prayer via Zoom
Here is the link for the Thursday night BCP (Book of Common Prayer) Compline For our safety online, the password needed to join the call is 329903.

All Souls Geek Squad
If you’re having any trouble with technology during this time of tech-only contact with others, we want to help! Use this form to describe the problem and request help.

Check out the first episode of season 2 (!) of the Soulcast!

Ongoing Canned Food Drive
The ASP Food Drive continues to pick up and deliver food for the Berkeley Food Pantry on a weekly basis. Food contributors and drivers participate every other week. Please email Cathy: for more information.

Wednesday 9:00 am Service
Join the Zoom call here:
Meeting ID: 860 8795 1049 Password: 520218

Meal Train
If you are able to help provide some meals for parishioners in need, please contact Cathy Goshorn to help out! We are in great need at this time to help care for each other – please consider helping other All Soulsians in need by providing meals or gift cards for meals. You can reach Cathy at