From the Rector
Being Made New
This past week the words of one of our most well-worn collects has been resonating within. Prayed at all of our ordination services for deacons, priests, and bishops, one section of the petitions prays,
“…let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord…”
I found myself praying this prayer this week as I watched the Parish House of All Souls come down in a matter of hours. For decades this building had sheltered hundreds of elders, monks, friars, guests, seminarians, youth, asylum seekers – all manner of humanity. And in the space of hours it had been turned into rubble.
This, of course, should not have been a surprise. We’ve been working in this direction for over six years, and when we bought the building back from the Order of the Holy Cross ten years ago we knew that decades of differed maintenance had taken its toll. While we could shore it up for safety, a complete rebuild was needed.
And so, after years of discernment and planning, design and approvals, funding and negotiation, the day finally arrived this week and the dismantling of the Parish House began in earnest. And finished remarkable quickly. Steve Zimmerman, our bookkeeper was in the office Tuesday morning and took pictures that he showed as part of our virtual staff meeting. From those pictures it was clear that if we were going to see this happen, we’d have to get to All Souls quickly.
So several of us hustled over to the corner of Oxford and Cedar and watched as a skilled operator with an immense claw began to pull down the building sections at a time. I watched, transfixed as the homes of dozens of former All Soulsians were crunched and pulled, wrenched and crushed. All kinds of emotions whirled within – disbelief, melancholy, relief. Even though I’d been anticipating this day for years, I couldn’t quite wrap my head and heart around what was happening.
But over the last couple of days, as this prayer has been on my heart, a truth has emerged, that oftentimes in life destruction must precede reconstruction. For the new to emerge, that which no longer able to fully serve its purpose must be allowed to end. The grain of wheat, as John’s Gospel reminds us, must die in its current form in order for new life to arise.
And so today, I give thanks for the life that this building gave to many. For the protection and shelter that was offered and received. And, in its de-construction, I give thanks for the opportunity for protection and shelter for many, many more souls for decades and decades to come.
Let the whole world see and know – new life is at hand.
Dear All Souls,
It is with much gratitude that I am wrapping up my interim time here at All Souls. It has been truly a pleasure to be with all of you over the past 10+ months doing children and family ministry, being a staff member and a part of the skeleton crew.
I feel truly blessed to have shared a strange six months we have had together and know that in many ways my work here at All Souls has kept me sane. I am grateful for:
Phil, Emily, Jamie, Annie, Dani, Steve, and Nedi – It has been a privilege to work with you and to learn from you about how to do church. You have formed me in new ways that I will take forward.
Children’s ministry committee – Thank you for your support, flexibility, and creativity as we have found new ways to help kids find God in these days of Covid.
For the All Souls families — thank you for welcoming me into your homes and your lives via zoom. I have loved to share Sunday breakfasts, Wednesday afternoon snacks, and lots of regular ordinary moments with you. In many ways they have been the highlight for me.
For the kids at All Souls – Thank you for showing me once again the light in the darkness and the many ways that God shows us God‘s presence in our lives. I will miss you.
With a full and grateful heart,
Coming Up in Adult Formation
Imaginal Meditation: Why and How
Rev. Dr. Daniel Prechtel on October 4, 11, 18 at 9:15am
There are a wide range of prayer practices that are part of our Christian spiritual tradition. Some are reflected in public liturgical prayer; others are expressed in personal ways of praying and meditating. In this course we will be looking at, and practicing, a form of prayer and meditation that is deeply personal, inter-relational, and uses our creative imaging capability.
This course will introduce you to:
- Using imagination as a vehicle for engaging dimensions of reality beyond the physical world.
- Why “imaginal” prayer and meditation in its various forms is a powerful way of relating to God and the spiritual dimension of reality.
- The use of these forms of prayer and meditation in various spiritual traditions, including Christianity.
- Expanding our spiritual cosmology.
- Expanding our understanding of the “communion of the saints” to include all of creation.
In addition, you will have the opportunity each session to practice an imaginal meditation with a specific intention for seeking wisdom, healing, or building a personal relationship with Christ or an agent of God’s grace.
About Daniel: The Rev. Daniel Prechtel, D.Min., is an assisting priest at All Souls. He has taught in spiritual formation for two seminaries and for two spiritual direction training programs. He has operated Lamb & Lion Spiritual Guidance Ministries for over 25 years and has been a spiritual director for over 30 years. Daniel is the author of Where Two or Three are Gathered (2012), Light on the Path (2016), and this year co-authored Soul Journeys: Christian Spirituality and Shamanism as Pathways for Wholeness and Understanding.
Gender, God, and the Church Today
Rev. Dr. Paula Nesbitt on October 4, 11, 18 at 9:15am
God has been described extensively throughout the Bible and in Christian worship as Lord and Father. But how might other gendered and gender-neutral understandings deepen our knowledge of God and our faith, and help us to live affirmatively in a changing world? This 3-week series will explore feminine and other biblical images of the Divine, gender inclusive leadership and worship, and how feminist and similar forms of ethics can be used for social and spiritual justice.
Week One: The feminine face of God and beyond
The Bible often speaks of God as Lord and Father, but there also are biblical images of God that reveal feminine as well as non-gendered traits. This session will examine some of the feminine biblical images and understandings of God in both Jewish and Christian traditions, and their meaning for the radical equality that God intends for all humanity. The session’s focus question will be, what difference do language and imagery make for our spiritual relationship with God and with one another?
Week Two: Gender Inclusive leadership in the Church and the Anglican Communion
Week Three: Gender and theological ethics for repairing relationships and the world
About Paula: Rev. Dr. Paula Nesbitt has led adult educational programs on the themes posed in this three-part course in Episcopal and United Methodist churches since 1990. She has also taught sociology of gender, feminist ethics, women and religion, and women’s studies topics at the undergraduate and graduate level for more than 20 years, including at the University of California Berkeley, the University of Denver, Iliff School of Theology, and elsewhere. She is currently a visiting professor of sociology of religion at the Graduate Theological Union. She serves on the Steering Groups of the International Anglican Women’s Network and the Anglican Peace and Justice Network, and took part in the 2018-19 theological working group that produced “God’s Justice: Just Relationships between Women and Men, Girls and Boys,” an Anglican Communion Program of Study for theological schools and other institutions. She chaired The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council Committee on the Status of Women, 2012-15, and served as a member of ECCSW 2009-12, as well having served as a research consultant on gender and the clergy for several church-related groups, including the Church Pension Fund’s co-sponsored “Called to Serve” study, and more recently the Ordained Women’s Leadership Project. Her publications include Feminization of the Clergy in America (Oxford University Press, 1997) and numerous articles and book chapters on gender and the church.
You can find more information about these classes on our Virtual Formation page.
Sunday Livestreaming News
The livestream of Sunday services can be accessed through our website or by tuning into our All Souls Episcopal Parish Facebook page. Click here to watch on Sunday morning. Stay tuned for the conclusion of this week’s service for our Stewardship Campaign Launch video (which will then be live on our All Souls YouTube channel).
Adult Formation Class this Sunday
The Reading Between the Lines Bible Study class meets every Sunday and is the only class meeting this Sunday. Contact Daniel Prechtel, firstname.lastname@example.org, to join that Zoom call at 9:15am!
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 email@example.com 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 the All Souls 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
Join us on Facebook Live for a Fireside chat with the Rev. Maggie Foote! You can watch on our All Souls Facebook page or on our website.
Stephen Ministry: We’re here for you!
2020 has been a challenging year, right?! Most of us have been struggling and overwhelmed. You are not alone. Stephen Ministers understand and are available to listen, support and pray for you. We can offer you a confidential caring relationship or an occasional phone call to help you through these ever-changing times. Contact Maggie Foote at (513) 309-1079 or Madeline Feeley at (510) 495-4512 so we can be there for you.
All Souls A’s Fans
Last week’s game was so fun we are going to do it again! Join us this coming Wednesday evening to watch the A’s in the Wildcard series (right? That’s what’s happening?). Anyway, if the A’s are playing Wednesday night, we’ll be showing the game in the courtyard. Email Emily to RSVP (firstname.lastname@example.org). Maximum capacity is 25, so make sure to RSVP soon (first come, first served!).
Evening Prayer via Zoom
Here is the link for the Thursday night BCP Compline https://schoolmint.zoom.us/j/7124066649?pwd=d0Z4c1RHeld0QllOLzdlS1IxK3FKZz09. 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! On the homepage of our website is a box with the words “Technical Help”. Click on that box and you will be taken to a form that you can fill out. Once you fill that out, we’ll have someone get in touch with you to help with your tech problems. You can also click here to access the form directly.
Check out Season 2, Episode 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: email@example.com for more information.
Wednesday 9:00am Service
Join the Zoom call here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86087951049?pwd=THNxbjlqMm5zdjc5RGNLWkFrZk16QT09
Meeting ID: 860 8795 1049 Password: 520218
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.