From the Rector
Rhymes of Hope
Leading up to our Annual Meeting this past Sunday and in the days since I’ve been thinking a lot about the patterns of life. Mark Twain was supposed to have written (though there’s no proof of it all) that, “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme.” Once again at our annual meeting we heard a lot of rhyming.
In both 1973 and 1998 there was an upswelling of optimism, as new Rectors, the Rev. William Clancey and the Rev. Andrew Walmisley respectively, were in their first year of being called to All Souls. Even though the reports of those years are separated by a generation it was amazing to read of the increase of energy, attendance, and generosity. Sometimes these reports were written by the same people––for instance, Roger Glassey was the Junior Warden in both years!
And yes, some of the rhyming is frustrating to read; the flooding in the undercroft seems to be everpresent. (it really does make me wonder if our church is built on a spring…living waters indeed) And anxieties about money are almost always in the background, if they aren’t front and center. For decades it seems that this parish has “played from behind” in terms of our property, as deferred maintenance relentlessly comes due.
But there is another rhyme that I’ve also heard as I’ve read these reports at Annual Meetings. And that is a rhyme of hope. Here I want to be clear, that I don’t mean the optimism I referenced earlier. To me optimism is similar to the blush of new love––an unaware, full-tilt, head-first kind of feeling.
The rhyme of hope that I’ve heard throughout the years at All Souls is hard-earned and drawn from the deep wells of God. It’s the hope that we were founded with, taking in refugees from the earthquake and fire of 1906, and weathering the flu epidemic of 1918 and the great Berkeley fire of 1923. And it is a hope, a trust that God is real and present and wants to be found.
Unexpectedly this past Sunday I most heard this rhyme of hope in the report of a group that I’d never even heard of before at All Souls, the Fantasizers. From what I can tell, this was a group of Christians who were sure that the Spirit was present, but was most likely to be encountered in the most unusual of spaces. Like in small groups held in people’s homes where they talked about the role of faith in their lives. Or in Eucharists at the beach or in Tilden Park. Or in the planned “Tot Lot” in the “old priest’s driveway.” (the predecessor to our current playground?)
I suppose that I found such hope here because in the midst of the pages and pages on finances and the upkeep of buildings, there was a group of All Soulsians who trusted that God was here and saw it as their responsibility to be a “yeasting influence” for parish life, so that all of this dough could rise. My hope is that years and years and years from now some future Rector will look back at 2023 and hear that rhyme once more.
From the Associate Rector
You may have heard me mention before that I’m a camp kid. Specifically, an Episcopal summer camp kid. Growing up attending camp every summer has had, unequivocally, the biggest impact on the spiritual journey that led me to Jesus and ultimately to the priesthood. This was, of course, reinforced by my church’s youth program and diocesan youth events, and later, Episcopal Service Corps, but it all started with camp. Camp was a place where I got to try on different parts of myself and explore who I was in a community of people who accepted me for all of it. I experienced what it was like to have a daily ritual of prayer and reflection. I learned songs that are so much a part of me that I now sing them to McEwen at bedtime. I had role models who were cool for being who they were, and not because they were “cool” by the same standards that ruled my middle and high school social worlds. Most of my closest friends are people who I attended or worked at camp with (or if I met them as adults, they are camp kids too!)
I’m sharing all of this now, because camp registrations at Episcopal Camps across the country are starting to open, 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:
Another opportunity that’s coming up this summer for high school youth, specifically, is Episcopal Youth Event, or EYE. EYE happens every three years, and is the second largest gathering in the Episcopal Church, only after General Convention. EYE is more like a conference for youth, with keynote speakers, large worship services, workshops, and of course, lots of fun activities as well. This year’s EYE is taking place at the campus of the University of Maryland, outside of D.C. Each diocese sends a delegation of youth. If you’re interested in learning more about how to attend with the Dicoese of California’s delegation, visit this link. To learn more about EYE in general, visit this one!
If you have children or youth in your life, I hope you’ll consider talking to them about these opportunities!
From Arts at All Souls
Each year during Lent, we pause to reflect on the path Jesus took toward his death. But the journey does not end with the Stations of the Cross and the burial of Our Lord. It is his resurrection and subsequent appearances that are the central basis of our faith. Out of the darkness of death, we see the bright radiance of the light of God’s grace. The Stations of the Resurrection are known as the Via Lucis, the Way of Light. Let us now follow Jesus’ path of hope and love by offering images to depict each step on his way to his ascension and Pentecost.
We invite you to take your phone camera and after reading through the Stations of the Resurrection you might prayerfully imagine the scene surrounding one or more events. For example, the sealed tomb of the first station might conjure up an image of the rock formations up around Indian Rock in the Berkeley hills. A picture of the lovely mesh ribbons we hung during Advent might suggest the wind of Pentecost. The path to Jewel Lake behind the Little Farm in Tilden looks a lot like the walk to Emmaus.
We aren’t looking for professional looking pictures, just sharing our own backyards and neighborhoods with our beloved community. Take as many photos as you like, and indicate which stations you are depicting, and send them to Kieran at email@example.com. She would need to compile the display by Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2023.
Thanks everyone for participating in this very spiritual project.
Save the Dates
- February 21, Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday Jambalaya + Pancake Dinner
- February 22, Ash Wednesday (7a, 12p, & 7:30p)
Join us for worship this week:
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 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
- 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).
- Common Prayer for the People of God: Past, Present, and Future @10:10a in the Parish Hall or on Zoom (click here).
Since the sixteenth century, Anglicanism has been defined by a Book of Common Prayer. This class will explore the origins of the prayer book, its use today, and its future in light of the actions of General Convention in summer 2022.
- Feb 5: Prayer Books of the past. We’ll explore the origins of the Book of Common Prayer in 16th-century England and its adaptation for the Episcopal Church when it was formed in 1789.
- Feb 12: The Book of Common Prayer today. The 1979 Prayer Book marked a distinctive change from earlier books. We’ll consider the reasons for these changes and discuss their significance for us today.
- Feb 19: Where do we go from here? What changes are needed to continue to foster common prayer? What might a new Prayer Book contain?
Children, Youth, and Family News
Sunday School This February, we begin a unit about how to be a good friend with some skills adapted from the Stephen Ministry Class that was offered for adults in the fall. This series will be led by Madeline Feeley and Grace Telcs. Class gathers in the courtyard at 10:10am
Youth Group Youth Group continues this Sunday at 7pm in the Parish Hall.
Confirm Not Conform CNC continues this Sunday, February 5th at 10:10 in Maggie’s Office.
Faithful Families there will be no official faithful families in February due to Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, but all families are encouraged to attend the Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday celebration on Tuesday, February 21st!
Email Maggie for more information about Children, Youth and Family Ministries at All Souls.
Other News & Notes
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 our personalized online donation page by clicking here.
Celebrating the Feast Day of Absalom Jones
The Northern California/Vivian Traylor Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians and the Afro-Anglican Commission of the Diocese of California invite you to celebrate:
The Feast Day of Absalom Jones
February 11, 2023, 11:00 a.m. PST
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
114 Montecito, Oakland, CA
Theme: Repairing Dignity: Seeking Wholeness
The Right Rev. Deon Kevin Johnson, the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Missouri, will preach.
The service will be streamed on St. Paul’s Facebook page.
Flowers on Sundays at Church
If you are interested in dedicating the flowers in the Church on Sunday mornings to a loved one or a particular remembrance, please fill out this form and indicate which day you would like to contribute the flowers and what you would like the dedication to say. The dedication will appear in our announcement sheet on the Sunday you have selected. The suggested contribution for flowers is $75, which can be paid to All Souls either electronically or by check (see the giving page on our website for more information there), and be sure to write in “flowers” in the memo line.
Please contact Maggie Cooke for any questions, firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s a New Year: Please Check Your Pledge Mechanics!
Here’s your Stewardship chair checking in about making our pledges a reality. January is a good time for each of us to ensure that we’ve begun to fulfill our pledge amounts for the coming year. During last fall’s pledge campaign, many people pledge a new total for 2023. Now is the time to adjust your giving to your 2023 pledge.
If you contribute via autopay from a financial institution, please review your account activity for this month to ensure that withdrawals from your account align with your 2023 pledge intention. Checking now will keep you on track to your 2023 pledge total. If you have any questions about autopay or the amount you pledged for 2023, please contact our Giving Secretary Maggie Cooke at email@example.com.
Thank you for all that you give and all that you do! Deirdre Nurre, Stewardship Committee Chair