From the Rector
Last week I took part in the St. Francis Wilderness Pilgrimage, a yearly pilgrimage of Episcopal priests (sometimes with a Lutheran pastor or Episcopal bishop added in for good measure). This is the fifth time that I’ve made the pilgrimage, always in a part of the Western United States, and often around the feast of St. Francis.
As we have in the past, we ordered our days in common: with a daily office of prayers (this time with a chant that we will hopefully be singing soon), communal meals, and walking, lots of walking. And once again, it was in the walking that I was reminded of the heart of pilgrimage. While the destination is important––whether it is the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, or a confluence of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon––the heart of a pilgrimage is found in walking the path in front of you.
Because it is on the path, step after step after step after step, that you can enter into the kind of space where much of the noise arounds you falls away. There is the path in front of you and the thoughts of your heart. The physicality of the encounter tests you both in your body––your feet, your legs, your lungs––and in your spirit. When you walk the pilgrim’s path you quickly learn that you cannot hide. And, that there can be healing in that encounter, with yourself, and with God.
Even though a pilgrimage has an essential internal component, you never undertake a pilgrimage alone. The strangers that you encounter along the way are just as integral to the path. And quickly you find that those people who accompany you on the way, known before the trip began or not–with those companions you can find an intimacy and closeness that offer glimpses of the koinonia that our Scriptures describe.
For us on this latest pilgrimage, made from the top of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, down to the Colorado River at the bottom, and back up, the path in front of us wasn’t always clear. Unlike other trails into the Grand Canyon that are well-used and maintained, we followed a trail that was marked by cairns, stacks of rocks that visually led us along our way. Again, this isn’t uncommon for a pilgrimage, and frankly, for much of life. The path ahead is not always clear, sometimes involves backtracking, and often is helped by having others look for the best way alongside us.
While there is beauty and splendor in far-off locations, the essence of pilgrimage can be practiced wherever one is. You may have come across this story, of a man who wanted to walk the Camino de Santiago, but wasn’t able to because of a diagnosis of cancer and his attendant chemo treatments. And so, in a pasture near his home, he created a .88km circuit and planned out the distance he would have to travel in order to complete the Camino. Then, over the course of months, he walked it.
Even that kind of pilgrimage can feel too daunting, so one pilgrimage you might consider takes place each Sunday morning. As you make your way to the corner of Cedar and Spruce, in person or via a screen in your living room, begin the path with intention, each step takes you closer and closer to one another and in the midst, Christ made present.
P.S. This past week, two of our companions on the way, Roger and Joan Glassey, stopped by All Souls to say hello and look at the progress of Jordan Court. This past summer they moved to an assisted living facility in Palo Alto, nearer to children and grandchildren. If you’d like to drop them a line, please reach out to the Parish Office and we’d be glad to pass along their information.
From the Archives
In 1920 or 1921, All Souls purchased a house from Mr. D. P. Browne, a
member of the parish, for use as All Souls’ first parsonage. The house located
at Cedar and Scenic Streets was, of course, destroyed by the 1923 fire. After
the fire, the lot was returned to Mr. Browne in lieu of paying the balance of
the purchase price. In 1924, the year the Parish House was completed, All
Souls built a new parsonage at Cedar and Arch Streets designed to the specifications of the then vicar, the Reverend Richard M. Trelease. This parsonage became and remained the parish rectory until 1935 when All Souls was forced by the financial situation to relinquish the house to the mortgage holder.
lAfter the great north Berkeley fire of 1923, the parish quickly decided to go forward with the plan to build a new “parish house” designed by Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr., the son of a clergyman who had immigrated from England. (In a future article we will encounter another Ratcliff, Walter’s son Robert, who designed the present church building.) Everyone understood that some parishioners would not be able to pay their pledges for the new building because of the fire, and other pledges would be delayed. Nevertheless, the
parish went forward and the new Parish House (now the Parish Hall) was completed in the summer of 1924. It was blessed in the early evening on Friday, August 15, 1924, and the blessing was followed by the first parish dinner in the new building. It is not recorded whether that first dinner was a pot luck. The new Parish House had a light colored stucco finish, so the Women’s Guild successfully took on a project of raising funds to have the exterior of the Chapel refinished in stucco to match the Parish Hall. The new Parish House provided classrooms for the Church School and for adult Bible classes as well.
From the Stewardship Team
If it’s going well, a good stewardship campaign seeks to ask, and provide answers for, three basic questions:
1 – Why do we give?
2 – Why do we give to this church?
3 – How do we actually give?
As we come up to In-gathering Sunday on October 24th, you have heard and will hear from heartfelt and eloquent speakers about giving and about giving to All Soul. I hope they have helped you reflect about your pledging. This year we have made some tweaks to the process of giving, the “how” of fulfilling your pledge, and I’m happy to share them with you.
All Souls is always grateful to receive a pledge payment. Historically we have talked in terms of annual pledge amounts and, thankfully, we only do the pledge campaign only once a year. But the money raised from the pledges supports the operation of All Souls throughout the year and we need to pay our bills more often than once a year. Many people fulfill their pledges with annual gifts in November or December. Others have given quarterly but may forget a payment. In those cases, the admin team needs to spend time thinking about cash flow rather than on our mission.
So, this year we are asking that you fulfill your pledge with a recurring monthly payment. So many people pledge amounts that come out to round monthly amounts, it seems that people are already tuned into monthly pledging. Now we would like to emphasize monthly giving.
If your situation leads you to annual or quarterly payments, don’t be discouraged! There will be a place on the pledge card for you to indicate that that is how you will be fulfilling your pledge and we will welcome your support. But if you can, please consider fulfilling your pledge by breaking it down into monthly payments.
Several people have wanted help deciding how much to pledge. Ultimately that is a personal and private decision, best made after prayerful consideration. And, a little context may be useful.
Broadly, it seems many people take a rough estimate of their income for the next year, come up with a rough percentage of giving that will be a fit for them and then hone in on a round monthly pledge amount. Then, often, they wonder where that fits in the broader All Souls pledging practice.
Starting this weekend, we will be providing two charts that can give context for making your pledging decision. Both charts adopt monthly pledging as the default, although they do provide some guidance on annual income and pledging amounts. One offers a guide of monthly pledge amounts for different levels of income and different percentages of giving. The other chart takes 12 common pledge amounts and reflects what percentage that is for different levels of income.
Pledging by Percentages – Several people have asked for a chart that breaks down the monthly pledge amount for various income levels and giving percentages. You can find a rough estimate of your income level on the left of the chart and then read across the row until you find a percentage column that feels right to you. That intersection will be a monthly contribution produced by that income and pledging level. (Click here to access this chart).
Pledging by Round Numbers – In the kickoff survey, we found that most people reported pledging between 1% and 6% of their income. Taking that as inspiration, we offer a new chart that gives people a broad sense of what others are pledging and where their pledge and income combination places them within the community. (Click here to access this chart).
The chart lists several levels of income, on a monthly and annual basis. You can find your approximate income and then move across the row until you find a pledge amount column that fits for you. The pledge amounts across the top of the chart, are amounts frequently given by All Soulsians last year. Nearly one-half of our pledgers gave one of these 12 pledge amounts.
The pledging percentages are color-coded, with the same colors as the percentage chart, to help you find similar pledging percentages across the income spectrum. Whatever your income and giving level, you can see other people giving similar percentages of their income by identifying other cells with the same color.
These charts, and the pledge amounts in them, are illustrations and examples. They should not constrain you from choosing any pledge amount that fits for you. The amount you decide to pledge is up to you and you should not feel hemmed in by any of this information.
These charts will be in the pews, on tables and on-line starting this weekend.
Pledges can be fulfilled in many ways. All Soul’s preferred method to receive a pledge payment is the automatic bill payment service from your bank. As long as All Souls can identify the giver, we will credit gifts to an open pledge. Using the autopay service is almost always free to you and ensures that All Souls receives the payment even if you are busy and forget to make your pledge in any month or quarter.
Later this Fall, we will be hosting a zoom class for people who would like help with setting up autopay with their bank.
Soon we will begin making pledges to support All Souls next year. I hope these changes will make that process easier, more engaging and maybe even more life-affirming.
With Gratitude –
Save the Dates
(*see “Other News and Notes” for more info on events)
October 24: All-Church Stewardship Celebration
October 31: Halloween Festivities and Trick-or-Treat at All Souls
November 7: All Souls/All Saints Day with tours of Jordan Court between the 9 & 11:15 services and Sunday Night Service Official Launch at 5:00pm
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 four class offerings this Sunday:
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 7:30a. Contact Kate Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org to join that Zoom call.
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study at 10:10 in the Chapel (and on Zoom). Contact Daniel Prechtel for the Zoom link, email@example.com
- Repairing the Breach: Addressing Racism Locally on Zoom (click here) and in the Parish Hall
A Practice of Prayer in the Common Room (and on Zoom)
New class begins next Sunday: Resurrection Class part 2 taught by the Rev. Michael Lemaire.
Sunday Oct 24th begins the second part of the three part series on the resurrection. Last spring we explored the range of beliefs that were present in the pagan and Jewish community about life after death. In this second part, we will explore the resurrection as reflected in the letters of Paul. The writings of Paul predate the Gospels by 20-40 years and are the earliest articulation of the Christian understanding of resurrection. By exploring Paul’s conversion, his early teaching in 1 Thessalonians and 1 Corinthians and his late in life reflection in 2 Corinthians, we will try to understand what the early Christian community understood happened to Jesus, what that meant for those who followed him, and how those beliefs evolved through time. Please feel free to join us for one or more of the classes as you are able. The class will meet in the Parish Hall at 10:10a, October 24, 31, November 14 & November 21. All are welcome (even if you didn’t catch part 1!).
Children, Family & Youth News
Sunday School meets on Sundays at 10:10am for children in Pre-K through 5th grade! 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Youth Group continues Wednesday, October 13th at 7:00pm! Also, each Sunday at 10:10am, stop by Maggie’s office for a donut and a check-in with one of our youth leaders. 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 (email@example.com) for more information and to get added to the list!
Other News & Notes
Soulcast: Our Weekly Video Announcements
October is Stewardship Season at All Souls. This Sunday we’ll have our final parishioner give a reflection during both services, and then next Sunday, October 24th is Ingathering Sunday where everyone will have the opportunity to offer their pledge for the year during the services. Check out the Stewardship 2021 button on our homepage for more information about why we give to All Souls and some helpful tools on how to decide how much to give.
Giving to All Souls via our mobile app
The platform we have been using for mobile app donations is changing from Give+ to Vanco Mobile Faith Engagement. You can find this (Vanco Mobile Faith Engagement) in your app store, and login with the same login you had with Give+. Once logged in, search for “All Souls Episcopal Parish” and it comes right up.
Halloween at All Souls!
On Halloween, the All Souls young adults crew will be hosting a gathering at 5pm in the church courtyard to carve pumpkins, before handing out candy to local trick-or-treaters from 6-8. We will have some pumpkins and candy, but would encourage you to bring a pumpkin to carve, candy to pass-out, or goodies to share. Pizza will be provided, and we will watch Hocus Pocus to get in the Halloween spirit. All are welcome, and parents, we would love to see your kids’ costumes! Contact Lorena for more information!
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
You can always bring food on Sundays and place it in the “Berkeley Food Pantry” basket in the Narthex (or in the courtyard for the 9am service).
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.
BYOC (Bring Your Own Chalice)
We’re looking to build up a store of reusable chalices so that we can stop using disposable chalices each week for the Eucharist. If you have a few small vessels around your house that you’d like to donate, please bring them and leave them on the back Narthex counter. You can watch this episode of the Soulcast to get a better idea of what we have in mind.