From the Rector
Sharing the Purpose of Toil
The past two and a half years of pandemic have disoriented and disrupted many practices and patterns that we had previously taken for granted, perhaps none so profoundly as our relationship to work. Our relationship to work has long been fraught in dominant U.S. culture–– for instance, a popular Russian phrase when one is over-working is that you are, “working like an American.” But the pandemic forced an opportunity for many to take stock of why we are devoting so much our lives to a particular job; indeed the Great Resignation has been a trending topic because of many people’s response to this question.
For years now I’ve been wanting to reflect on the relationship between labor, capitalism, and God’s economy. Fortunately for me, and I think all of us at All Souls, Dr. Scott MacDougall is interested in reflecting on this with us as well. For four Sundays in October, the 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd, we will be considering some of our sacred texts in this light, from Genesis to Leviticus to Deuteronomy to Matthew to Revelation, examine some theological notions that extend from these texts, and engage in conversation about how this intersects (or doesn’t) with our week-in, week-out lives. The topics for the four weeks will unfurl in this direction: Understanding Work, Re-Framing Work, Doing Work, and Ending Work.
Some may wonder why we are exploring work in a Christian context at all, as some see this as a mix of the sacred and the profane, that Sundays offer a respite from the 9-5. In this class, however, we are following the lead of theologian JJ Almen who describes the connection between work and worship using the metaphor of the human heart. Worship is like the work of the heart, gathering, transforming and sending. When we are engaging worship fully we are gathering all the various places of our lives––our work being part of it––so that we can bring it all to God, have it be transformed in praise and confession, silence and song, and then sent back into the world, forgiven, healed and renewed. Our time together over these four weeks will be to reflect on the purpose of our work, how it can be understood anew, and offered in directions that bring life––to ourselves and others.
Whether you’re just entering a life of work, have completed a lifetime of work, or are unsure of your next step, Scott and I invite you step back and reflect with us. May it be an opportunity to reflect, consider, re-orient, and begin again.
From our Seminarian
Marian Devotions in All Souls Chapel
The following is an article written by Michael Drell and others about their practice of Marian Devotions.
Last winter, many of us were struggling emotionally. It seemed like personal and collective suffering was too much to bear. A few of us students from various GTU seminaries began meeting weekly during term time for prayers in the chapel and a labyrinth walk. Around the time of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, Michael Drell had just read John Macquarrie’s, “Mary For All Christians” (2001) and found an appendix at the back of the book which contained ‘An Ecumenical Office of Mary the Mother of Jesus’. This is a cumbersome title for a prayer liturgy that has been agreed upon by Canterbury, Rome, and the Free Churches of Europe. This means that different denominations agreed on the liturgy and approve its use.
It is an opportunity to pray together with Christian siblings who might normally worship differently to us or even hold different views from ours on many things. We can always invite and welcome neighbors into our worship; however, an Ecumenical Office has a different tone because no single denomination is offering it to the others. The process is shared in a special way. The prayers are active and repetitive. There is a rhythmic conversation underpinning the unchanging words so each week is very much the same in many ways. We have found that this allows a different type of worship experience as one becomes more and more comfortable.
We offer leadership to the youngest female-identifying person amongst anyone new on any given night. Otherwise, the voice of the leader rotates amongst regulars. The Office is an opportunity to make collective prayers in a shared voice while also relating to others praying in the room, others praying this office elsewhere, but most wonderfully, we are relating to and as Mary in all her humanness, uniqueness, and holiness. Her closeness to God is unmatched in Creation and these prayers can help us get closer to her as Theotokos (God bearer) and therefore bring us closer to her son Jesus and that which he called “Abba” (Father). We have found the focus on these relationships in our prayer calls us to new participation in our faith in Christ.
The current form of the Office has been adapted somewhat, mostly where the male pronoun could easily be changed. Our desire is to keep the spirit and the rhythm of the jointly agreed text in order that we respect the efforts of theological fellowship and communal discernment, which went into their production.
We hope you can join us for Marian Prayers that focus our attention on the story of Mary the Mother of Jesus, her relationship to God, to her Son, and to us. We have restarted our gatherings on Mondays at 8pm in the Chapel on Cedar Street. The entire Office only takes about 15 minutes to pray.
Well of Grace Press, 2022
Save the Dates
- October 2, Feast of St. Francis & Pet Blessing
- October 5, Faithful Families 5:30pm
- October 12, Book Launch party for Phil’s new book
- October 29, Parish Garden/Clean-up Day
- October 30, Stewardship Celebration Dinner
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 three class offerings this Sunday:
- 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.
- Toil & Teleology. On October 2, 9, 16, and 23rd in the Parish Hall and on Zoom. What is work for? Why does it matter for us Christians and as a Christian community? Join Dr. Scott MacDougall and the Rev. Phil Brochard as they explore the demands of Pharaoh, vocation, statements of ultimate value, the meaning of economy, the Protestant work ethic, and what it means for each of us to labor as an element of Christian practice.
Children, Youth, and Family News
Faithful Families, Wednesday, October 5th, 5:30-7pm
Join All Souls Families and our new Associate for Music, Dent Davidson for an evening of dinner and music! We will eat together (All Souls Vestry Members will provide the food!) and Dent will teach us a few songs. We will close our time together with a short prayer service. This is meant for families with children of all ages! RSVP here.
Children Pre-K-Grade 5 are invited to join us in the courtyard at 10:10am to learn about St. Francis and have a chance to meet a guide dog that works with one of our parishioners!
Youth Group continues this week! Office hours in the Youth Room at 10:10am and Youth Group from 3:00-5:00pm meet in the courtyard, and we’ll be walking to Live Oak Park to do a trash cleanup!
Email Maggie for more information about Children, Youth and Family Ministries at All Souls.
Other News & Notes
Vital Christian Community Book Launch Party
Come out for a fun evening among friends and colleagues to celebrate the publication of Vital Christian Community, by The Rev. Phil Brochard and The Rev. Canon Alissa Newton.
Details about time and place are in the graphic above. Jose Quinonez, founder of the Mission Asset Fund, MacArthur Genius, and local Episcopal lay leader, will also interview Phil and Alissa about the book, why they wrote it, and the hopes they have because of it.
You can RSVP here. And, if you haven’t yet bought Vital Christian Community at your local bookstore or online, limited copies will be for sale at the party. Alissa and Phil will be glad to inscribe something for you or your beloved.
Come celebrate with us, and invite others to join you!
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.
Spiritual Autobiography Small Group All Souls will begin offering an ongoing writing workshop/small group this fall. Meeting in person as a small group at church one evening a month, we’ll work to create for one another the loving environment we all need to tell our own stories to ourselves. This workshop will be open to writers at all levels of experience. If you’re interested, please come out to the information session on Sunday, October 16th just after the 11:15 service, in the Common Room or October 18th in the evening. Feel free to reach out to either Jane Vandenburgh, the instructor, or Emily Hansen Curran for more information.
Save the Date – Parish Cleanup Day
Fall is upon us, and hopefully the rainy season too. We have some work to do to prepare the All Souls Parish campus for the upcoming winter: gutter and drainage cleanout, trimming of trees and bushes, leaf raking, sweeping of the courtyard, and general cleanup of the outside of the church buildings. Please join us on Saturday, October 29th for a day of rigorous outdoor work with your fellow parishioners. Start time is 0900, with a break at around 1200 for pizza lunch (provided). Bring your yard tools, gloves, and dress for outdoor work. Contact Kaki Logan (Landscaping Sub-Committee Chair) or John Cockle and Martin Ortega (Property Maintenance Sub-Committee Co-Chairs) with ideas and/or questions.
SAVE THE DATE: “Sacred Earth: Growing Beloved Community”
Featured voices include: Bishop Marc Andrus and Rev. Ambrose Carroll, Founder of Green the Church.October 13 at 7 pm. Join the launch of this monthly video podcast series, featuring global and local visionary leaders in the field of climate justice and creation care. Information, inspiration and Action, with music and spiritual practices supporting a vital life and thriving world. Hosted by the Sacred Earth Team:Canon Amy Cook, Dr. M. Paloma Pavel, Richard Page, and Dr. Sheila Andrus.