From the Worship Task Force
A lot goes on behind the scenes at churches that makes our life in community work; decisions being made, options weighed, and discussions taking place. Right now, All Souls is in a season where there are LOTS of things going on behind the scenes through the work of various task forces. Over the next few weeks, you’ll be getting updates about all of the work of these task forces.
What is worship, anyway?
What is worship, anyway? It’s a question members of the Worship Task Force have recently been pondering as we consider changes to our worship schedule. For many of the past several decades, All Souls offered only a service in the Chapel at 8:00am and a service in the Nave at 10:00am. Beginning about ten years ago, due to growing attendance, this was expanded to three Sunday services, one at 7:30am at two services in the Nave at 9am and 11:15am.
Now on the other side of a global pandemic, and after starting a Sunday evening service, we find ourselves questioning whether two Sunday morning services in the Nave is the right model going forward. Many of us are still rebuilding our sense of community, and breaking the Sunday morning congregation into two services in the Nave means fewer opportunities to connect as an entire congregation. With one service in the Chapel and one in the Nave, we could reinforce and grow from the bonds we still have. As task force member Tess Taylor put it, “our molecules need to be bouncing closer together.” Having one choral service in the Nave would also mean we could do more with our limited volunteer and staff resources.
For these reasons, the worship task force will be recommending to the Vestry that we consider moving to one choral service in the Nave on a pilot basis. We are also considering how we would evaluate changes to the worship schedule, and more broadly, how we can maximize opportunities for meaningful congregational engagement. For some, this may be attendance at a traditional service while others may find their greatest joy in volunteering or learning together. For some, worship at a Sunday service is central to their religious practice, while others may seek more informal gatherings with a contemplative worship element, such as Taizé services or soup and supper.
Historically, the church has measured only Sunday service attendance as the key metric of church engagement. We will be revisiting this, and asking how we make worship as accessible as possible, to support our mission of transforming individuals and sending them out to heal the world. The Worship Task Force and Vestry will be contemplating these questions and seeking your input throughout the year. We will keep you informed, and if you have questions or thoughts in the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me or other vestry members.
From Bishop Marc Andrus
Statement from Bishop Marc Andrus on the death of The Rt. Rev. Frank Tracy Griswold III, 25th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, who died on Sunday, March 5
Give rest, O Christ, to thy servant with thy saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.
Dear Beloved Community in the Diocese of California – The sad news of the death of former Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold came as a surprise for me, and I’m sure many in our diocese. In addition to sharing Presiding Bishop Curry’s prayer and the Griswold family’s obituary for Bishop Frank, I’d like to also share a few of my memories with you.
Bishop Frank Griswold was the chief consecrator when I was ordained as a bishop on February 7, 2002. Before that time, he was a remote figure for me, but one of great interest and curiosity. I first heard Frank’s name when he emerged as a candidate for Presiding Bishop. At the time I was a priest in the Diocese of Virginia and had been formed at Virginia Seminary; in other words, a person raised up in a Low Church environment, which I naively took to be normative across the Episcopal Church. I said, upon hearing about Frank’s candidacy, “He can’t be elected, can he?” But with time, I learned much about the beauty and depth of high church liturgy and worship from Bishop Frank.
More meaningfully, I also heard about a House of Bishops’ gathering at the Kanuga Camp and Conference Center in North Carolina in the early years of Frank’s tenure as Presiding Bishop, at which Bishop Griswold invited all the bishops to dance together in a dance of the Trinity, of the Trinity’s energies of dispossession and possession, of giving and receiving. Prior to hearing a wisp of this story of a spiritual dance or practice, the very idea of the House of Bishops was at best vague to me. My imagination was activated about the House of Bishops, and Frank as the Presiding Bishop – the House of Bishops and its head now began to appear as spiritual leaders, followers of Jesus Christ, in addition to their undoubtedly important roles in administration.
The above being true, at that time I had not even an inkling of thought about being called to the ministry of a bishop. Then, with my election and consecration in early 2002, Frank became much more prominent in my life. He was not only the Presiding Bishop under whom I initially served, he was a kind, wise and generous mentor. I hope I assimilated his lessons to me, both those that he intentionally imparted and those I gleaned by observation.
As the whole Church, and within it the House of Bishops struggled over the recognition of the full rights of LGBTQ people, Frank led us with both great, steady courage and equipoise. Bishop Frank drew on the depth of his formation in Ignatian spirituality to help the House of Bishops discern its way forward, a path that led us to become more just, more in conformance with the dream of God, as Verna Dozier would have put it.
A last memory to share comes from a Diocese of California clergy retreat shortly before COVID, when I invited Bishop Frank to lead our clergy in a time of spiritual reflection. Bishop Frank’s teachings came from his life of deep prayer, which fueled his attention to the world. My time with him then was a gift. We talked on the long drive from San Francisco to Healdsburg and back, and during breaks at the clergy retreat, and while our time was marked by fun, it was also a time when Bishop Frank was attentive to our friendship and my ministry as a bishop.
Sheila and I are praying for Frank’s wife, Phoebe and their daughters. I will miss Frank Griswold, and always feel gratitude for his leadership of our Church through crucial times of change, and for the kindness and support he always offered to me and our family.
-The Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus, Bishop of California
Save the Dates
- March 15th, Lenten Contemplative Service + Soup Supper (Wednesdays in Lent)
Join us for worship this week:
- 9am, in-person, indoors
- 11:15am, in-person, indoors. (click here to access the live stream)
- 5p, the 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 Youtube 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
- 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, or join them in-person in Phil’s old office, (now called the Shadrach Room).
- Metaphors We Live By taught by the Rev. Michael Lemaire, February 26, March 5, 12, and 19 in the Parish Hall and on Zoom (click here to enter Zoom call). Metaphors shape our understanding of the world by describing one thing in terms of another. Metaphors are pervasive in our language but we often miss how they both enrich and limit our understanding. This is especially true when it comes to religious language that seeks to describe a world unseen. In this class, we will explore how metaphors function in our daily communication, how metaphors shape our understanding of ourselves, how Jesus used metaphors and in some ways is himself a metaphor of God, and how metaphors can become idols. The goal of the class is to both liberate and enrich our God talk so that we can better find the needed images and metaphors of God that will serve us through the various seasons of our spiritual life.
Children, Youth, and Family News
Sunday School We are currently in our third of four weeks of an exploration of metaphors, inspired by the adult formation class! This session is being taught by Jeannie Koops and Molly Nicol, and meets in the Crow’s Nest for kids who are Pre-K through 5th grade. In case you missed the announcement, beginning March 26th, Sunday School will take place during the 9am worship service!
Youth Youth in grades 6-12 are invited to meet in the “Fiery Furnace” downstairs in the undercroft for a check-in on Sunday mornings. Youth Group Continues this week for Grades 6-12 at 7:00pm in the Parish Hall.
Confirm Not Conform continues this week with our Field Trip to St. Paul’s AME in South Berkeley at 9:30am.
Faithful Families the next Faithful Families will be Thursday, March 30th from 5:30-7:15pm! Join us for dinner, intergenerational formation, and a short evening prayer service.
Save the Date! Youth Walking Pilgrimage to Grace Cathedral: May 21st after the 9am service for grades 6-12.
Email Maggie for more information about Children, Youth and Family Ministries at All Souls.
Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) 2023 – July 4-8
The deadline to register is March 8!
This summer high school teens from all over the world will gather at the University of Maryland, College Park, for a three-day experience. The Episcopal Youth Event or EYE (pronounced ee-why-ee) is the single greatest and second largest gathering the Episcopal Church does.
The Diocese of California has been saving up for this event and will be able to significantly help get our youth and the chaperones there and back again. We ask each youth (and chaperone) to cover the $400 registration fee for each person. This includes your meals and lodging and all the program stuff. The Diocese will be paying for airfare and travel between the airport and the University.
More info available HERE or HERE or email Caren Miles
Episcopal Summer Camp Registrations are Now Open!
Episcopal Camps across the country are starting to open for registration, including the Diocese of California’s not one, but TWO summer camps: St. Dorothy’s Rest, and The Bishop’s Ranch. You can find more information about the dates, age ranges, and cost for each camp at the links below:
Other News & Notes
Open Door Dinner
Open Door Dinner is this Sunday, March 12th. If you are able or interested in helping put the meal together or deliver some meals to the camps around Berkeley, please see Mary Rees, email@example.com for more information.
Lenten Contemplative Weekly Services + Soup Supper
This Lent, rather than Soup + Story, we’re going to host contemplative services at the church following a soup supper in the Parish Hall. Each week we’ll focus on a different contemplative practice, around prayer, led by different parishioners at All Souls. Each week will also have parallel kids programming so that the entire family is welcome to join! We’ll start into dinner around 5:30 and into the prayer practice at 6:30, ending each night around 7p. More information to come! If you’re able, please sign-up to bring soup! You can do so through this link (click here).
If you are looking to set up your pledge for 2023, you may still do so by clicking on this form. There is also a super easy way to give to All Souls––for either a one-time donation or for your ongoing pledge––that is through an app called Vanco Mobile (what used to be called GivePlus). You can find this app through the app store on your phone. Once downloaded, search for All Souls Episcopal Parish and you’re in! If you’d prefer not to download the app, you can just as easily give online through
Sacred Earth: Growing Beloved Community in an Expanding Universe with Dr. Brian Swimme and Guest Musician Melanie DeMore
We are looking forward to the next Sacred Earth: Growing Beloved Community webcast live with Dr. Brian Swimme (author of Cosmogenesis) on Wednesday March 22 at 7 pm PT We are also thrilled to announce the renowned Melanie DeMore will be our guest musician.
Please register in advance and we encourage “each one to bring one” as a practice in building a beloved community. This is also a great opportunity to reach out to those with whom you wish to expand your own capacity for creation care and social justice. See www.faithinformed.org to view earlier episodes and more information.
When: Wednesday, March 22, 2023 7:00 PM