From the Rector
I recently came across the story of an elementary school teacher reflecting on what it’s like to be back in the classroom after nearly a year and a half of teaching on Zoom. Some of their experience was expected––it’s so great to see, really see, the kids. It has restored the varied modalities of learning and reminded them of why they entered this profession in the first place. What has been surprising, though, are some of the significant setbacks that they’ve encountered.
Yes, there is catch up to be done in reading and writing and math. But the stunning part for this teacher was the loss of the basics of being together as a learning community. After a year and a half of Zoom schooling, many students’ impulse control has regressed, significantly. It’s not just classroom management that is more challenging, there’s been a loss of simple, basic tasks. For instance this teacher, who teaches 5th graders, talked about having to re-teach their students how to pass papers to the back of the classroom.
And it’s not just kids who are having to learn all over again what it’s like to be in proximity with one another. On a fundamental level we are figuring out how to meet each other in person again. Do we hug? Shake hands? Bump elbows? Tap feet? Namaste? Look meaningfully into each other’s eyes? How do I signal to you that I’m grateful to be in your presence?
What we are realizing more and more is that this is going to take awhile. One learning from these past several months across our lives––school, work, church, entertainment––is that the hoped for “off/on” switch doesn’t seem to exist. Collectively we aren’t bouncing back in a “V shaped recovery” as had been forecasted. The last year and a half of restricted patterns of living have had profound effects on our communal lives, effects that we will be unpacking for years to come.
This same reality is being experiencing in churches around the country, including at All Souls. Many of us experiencing hesitation about how to re-enter our lives with others. What feels safe enough? How do evaluate the risk, given the high vaccination rates of our area and the lower transmission rates of the virus? (as of this past week, California had the lowest transmission rates in the United States)
Once again, I am grateful to be in a community like All Souls Parish, because we have been built for this. Some of you may remember that one of the ways that I have come to understand All Souls Parish is as a school of practice for the art of being human. This has been true for Christian communities from the beginning, and at this point in human history we face a particular challenge about what it means to belong to one another, and what the Way of Christianity looks like and it will mean rebuilding essential practices, like passing papers to the back of the classroom.
If you haven’t yet been back in person to worship, we are currently worshipping at 9am in the Courtyard. At 10:10 we are still learning together, all ages. This Sunday starts the new year for kids, and for adults and youth we will be in the courtyard eating sticky buns and exploring how to live as generous souls. At 11:15am the service (with choir, organ, piano and trumpet) is in the nave. (and streamed on Facebook and our site) For both services, it’s BYOC, Bring Your Own Chalice.
If you’ve already restarted your practice of corporate worship on Sundays my request is that you invite someone you know from All Souls who might still be waiting. Knowing that they can do this with you, that they don’t have to do this alone, might be just what they need to enter this school of practice again.
This is where I am placing my trust for the days to come, that it’s going to take practice, learning again what means to be human, together.
From Adult Formation
- A Practice of Prayer on Oct. 3, 10, 17 & 24. Strengthen your relationship with the Holy One as we explore a variety of prayer practices together. How and why do we pray? What are some resources to support individual prayer in The Book of Common Prayer? If you have it, please bring your own Book of Common Prayer––digital PDF, interactive or hard copy of your choice. Drop in class will be led by The Rev. Marguerite Judson, Sundays 10:10-11:00 am, in the Common Room/Library and on Zoom (click here).
- Repairing the Breach: Addressing Racism Locally on October 3, 10, & 17 in the Parish Hall or on Zoom (click here).
- October 3: What Does More Equitable Policing Look Like in Practice?
With Michael Lewis from our Racial Justice Team, Councilmember Kate Harrison from the City of Berkeley, and Perfecta Oxholm, PhD Candidate, Goldman School of Public Policy
- October 10: Looking in the Mirror: Microaggressions & Implicit Bias
With Wendy Calimag from our Racial Justice Team & The Rev. Laura Eberly
- October 17: Criminal Justice Reform & Legislation
With Don Gates from our Racial Justice Team & Angelo Sandoval from The Ella Baker Center
Want more from our Justice & Peace team?
A Virtual Summit: “Green Lessons from Black Wall Street (1921-2021)”
- Sunday, October 10 through Wednesday, October 13, 2021
nationally recognized presenters in the environmental movement
prophetic and passionate pastors, renowned for social activism and eloquent oratory
Save the Dates
(*see “Other News and Notes” for more info on events)
September 26, between the 9 & 11:15 services: Stewardship Launch
October 3: Blessing of the Animals
October 24: All-Church Stewardship Celebration
Join us at 9am in the courtyard, in-person. At this service masks are not required.
Or (and!) join us indoors for the 11:15 service or on the live stream at 11:15a, which can be accessed through our website or by tuning into our All Souls Episcopal Parish Facebook page. Click here to watch on Sunday morning. At our 11:15 service, masks are required.
Wednesday 9am Service
Join the Zoom call here, or join us in person in the Nave at 9a. Password: 520218. Masks are required for this service as it is indoors.
Due to the new CDC mask mandate, masks are required for all indoor gatherings regardless of vaccination status.
Adult Formation Class this Sunday
We have just one class offering this Sunday:
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 7:30a. Contact Kate Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org to join that Zoom call.
Adult Formation Coming up:
- September 26th: Bible study at 10:10 and Adult Formation classes at 10:10 cancelled for the Stewardship Launch (happening the courtyard)
- October 3-17:
- Bible study at 10:10 in the Chapel (and on Zoom)
- “Repairing the Breach: Addressing Racism Locally” in the Parish Hall (and on Zoom)
- “A Practice of Prayer” in the Common Room (and on Zoom).
Children, Family & Youth News
Sunday School begins this Sunday, September 26! Read the Family Bulletin for more information!
If you’d like to receive updates about this, but do not subscribe to the Family Bulletin, please email Maggie Foote (email@example.com) for more information.
Youth Group continues Wednesday, September 29th at 7:00pm! If you are (or have) a young person between 6-12 grade, and are not a part of the google group for youth group updates, please email Maggie Foote (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information and to get added to the list!
Other News & Notes
Soulcast: Our Weekly Video Announcements
Check out Season 4: Episode 10 of the Soulcast!
The Stewardship Kickoff returns – live and in person! After a year on video, the 2022 Stewardship Campaign Kickoff will be in real life on Sunday, September 26th! We will be re-convening, with doughnuts and more, to talk and think about the past 18 months and the connections that bind us
We are going to do an exercise, on paper or on your phone, that will help us paint a picture of how the community sees itself after 18 months of COVID. Your responses will be as private as you want them to be. Bring your phone (it might even be fun)!
We’ll be in the courtyard at 10:10 and have everyone on their way by 10:50. And there will be doughnuts. And more. Please plan to join us on Sunday, September 26th.
Save the date for the morning and evening of Sunday, October 24th we will be gathering pledges for the upcoming year, and celebrating together – details to come.
Rain and Air Quality Index Protocol for In-person Events
In the case of rain, the 9:00am worship will move indoors to the sanctuary.
Following the lead of local school districts, All Souls has outlined the following protocol for high Air Quality Index:
When the Air Quality Index exceeds 150, all in-person events will be canceled at the church. Due to the need to have windows open to increase ventilation for Covid-safety, it is unsafe for us to be inside the church without ventilation, and it is unsafe for the windows to be open, which leaves us with only online options.
In the case of AQI higher than 150:
- 9:00am Sunday Worship will move to Zoom at this link.
- 11:15am Sunday Worship will be Livestreamed on the All Souls Facebook Page, and the website.
- 9:00am Wednesday Worship will move to Zoom at this link.
- Adult Formation will move to Zoom at the link specified for that class.
- Sunday School will be canceled.
- Youth Group will be canceled.
If you’re interested in joining a small group, we’re hoping to launch a few this fall! One will be a general small group, for journeying together/alongside others. The other group will be more specific: for parents who are currently raising teenagers. Look to next week’s Pathfinder for more info, but for now, if you’re interested, reach out to Emily (email@example.com).
Phil’s Email spam
If you receive an email, from “Phil”, asking for money or gift cards: THIS IS NOT HIM! He will never write to you and ask for a gift card. One way to make sure it is not him, is to check the email address in the “to” field. If it is not from firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, it is NOT the real Phil.
Stephen Ministry: Christ Caring for People through People
That’s the motto of Stephen Ministry. The Stephen Minister’s role is to bring God’s love into the lives of people who are going through a difficult time or experiencing a crisis. What do Stephen Ministers do? They listen, care, support, encourage, and pray with and for a person who is hurting. And in the midst of this confidential, one-to-one, caring relationship, God’s healing love comes pouring through.
If someone you know is facing a crisis—large or small—and could benefit from the caring presence of a Stephen Minister, talk to Rev. Maggie Foote (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Stephen Ministry Leader Madeline Feely (email@example.com). Our Stephen Ministers are ready to care for you!
Ongoing Canned Food Drive
In the before times, bringing a can of vegetables or a jar of peanut butter to church was the practice of many, and every few weeks all this would add up to three or four bags of groceries that I would deliver to the Berkeley Food Pantry. Obviously when in-person church services stopped, so did the influx of food. All Souls Parish made quick and creative adjustments; without missing a beat, folks had signed up to put a bag on their porch every other week for a driver to pick up and bring to the pantry. There were perhaps two dozen households contributing, and four or five drivers so that on any given Friday, between five and 10 bags of groceries were delivered to the pantry. More than a year later, we need wider participation. Drivers have had to make adjustments , and perhaps having the same folks providing the groceries every other week is not sustainable. Please consider offering a bag of groceries for pick up every other week, and/or sign up for any every other week driving shift to pick up from 5 or so households. Contact Cathy Goshorn, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
AA Groups Have Resumed
If you or someone you know is interested in AA Groups that meet here at the church, check out our calendar for the times.
Racial & Social Justice Library
During the last year, All Souls has had a deep desire to share the truth about the church and our role in the history of racism. By sharing our experiences, and participating in the course called Sacred Ground, many have found life-changing ways to practice the way of Jesus and to repair the breach in our country.
There are some incredible, challenging books on racism and social justice being published right now, and we have set up a way to share these treasures among our congregation. In the narthex as you enter the sanctuary, you will find several shelves of new and used books. Please take one, keep it, pass it on, or return it. Add one or as many of your own if you see fit.