From the Rector
The Stream of Living Waters
On the morning of Monday, July 28th, a blue Subaru Outback with an All Souls sticker on the back window and a Yakima car carrier strapped on top will drive east, headed (eventually) for Baltimore, Maryland. That car will carry the Krantzs, Jasper and Zach, Bryan and the Rev. Kristin.
Now, this is something that we have known about for awhile. For months we have been preparing for their leave-taking, an element of the preparation being the search for one who would serve All Souls Parish as Associate Rector after Kristin departs. For several months our Search Team of Leigh Rawdon, Michelle Barger (co-chairs), Tara McCulloch, Lewis Maldonado, Toni Martinez Borgfeldt and myself have been praying, planning, listening, interviewing and praying some more.
And so it was with great joy that this past Sunday I was able to announce our call as the next Associate Rector of All Souls Parish: the Rev. Liz Tichenor. Some of you may know Liz, as she served All Souls as a seminarian and was ordained to the priesthood here with us in December of 2012. Since leaving All Souls Parish Liz has served as Associate Rector for Children, Youth and Family Ministry at Trinity Church, Reno and as the Resident Chaplain at Galilee Episcopal Camp on the shores of Lake Tahoe.
Liz is a dynamic, compelling preacher and communicator, a skilled pastor and a creative and organized teacher. Her work at Trinity and at Galilee demonstrates her active and infectious belief in the Gospel of Jesus and her ability to bring people closer to God in their daily lives. It was very clear throughout our search process that Liz was the most complete fit for this position at All Souls, for the parish that we are now and especially for the parish that we are becoming. I am thrilled that Liz, her husband Jesse, and their daughter Alice will be joining us in our common life as of September 2nd and their first official Sunday at All Souls will be Sunday, September 7th.
One of the most helpful reminders that I have received in this transition in our staff has come from one of the departing staff members, Kristin. As she has been doing her work of saying goodbye she realized that it is important to refer to the priest who will be serving with us as the next Associate Rector as opposed to the new Associate Rector.
Now this may at first seem to be merely a question of word choice but it carries a significantly different meaning. As Thomas Burcham reminds us with his Archivist Briefs, the historical displays in the Parish Hall, and in the research he assists me with in preparation for our Annual Meeting and All Souls Day sermons, we are able to worship God in this place in large part because of the faithful disciples of the past. Because of their dedication, sacrifice and compassion, we have been able to enter these living waters.
Kristin’s reminder is that when she says the “next” Associate Rector, by definition it recognizes the priests who have served in this role in years gone by and it prepares the way for Liz and those who will serve after her. This is just as true for all of us. Each of us has received the gift of entering into these living waters, at first being carried along by them, and, in the passage of time, be able to offer our own gifts, gifts that in small yet significant ways, will come to change the course.
Monthly Ministry Night
Join us on the 14th
“…it’s fun! So many good peeps in one place at one time.”
From 7 to 9 p.m. on the second Monday of each month this year, an experiment known as the Monthly Monday Ministry Meeting has been breathing new life into the way we hold meetings at All Souls. This is an energy-packed evening of 50 or 60 ministry leaders and team members and it goes something like this.
We all come together in the church, share an opening prayer, then Fr. Phil spends 20 minutes teaching, pacing, and drawing on a newsprint pad like a coach prepping a team for a practice or a game. For the past several months, this teaching has centered on an organizational model of church, looking at the shared purpose of our diverse ministries to “gather, transform, and send.”
Through this lens, we can understand church as a place where we gather people (those already here and as well as those who are yet to come). We are transformed by the relational acts of worship, Eucharist, formation, fellowship, and service. We are sent into the world – the other 6 days a week of being Christian – to live into our faith in myriad ways.
At 7:20, Fr. Phil poses a question and we disperse across the church campus to meet in our separate ministry teams for an hour and 15 minutes. At 8:40, we all return to the church to hear a brief report back from each ministry. It is as if we have come off the playing field, buzzing with energy, and settle down for a debriefing. In 20 short minutes we share plans, passion, and laughter. Here is what several people have to say about the MMM Meeting:
“There are two positives that I have taken away from the Monday meetings: first, because of the all group didactic at the start we are developing a vocabulary as a community; basic knowledge and framework for ministry and vision is being shared among a wide group and I can’t help but think that will strengthen us going forward; and two, I find it energizing to see everyone gathered and to hear about the breadth of what is going on in the parish.” –Kristin Krantz
“The monthly meeting has brought new energy and support to the Outreach Ministry. Meeting in the sanctuary with all of the other ministry teams reminds us that we are part of a larger body of committed people who are engaged in doing God’s work – gathering, inviting, transforming, sending. In addition to improving communication and coordination between ministries, we are grateful for the chance to report on the things we are working on and are most excited about, which often results in feedback and encouragement from other ministry leaders that we might not have received otherwise.” –Christine Trost
“From a functional perspective, it is really really handy to have people from various teams all gathered in one place at one time – you can touch base about details, team up on events, avoid duplicating efforts, bounce ideas, get another perspective, etc. (In corporate-speak: cross-team functionality!) It makes getting things done way easier. Quite honestly, half of the important action of that meeting happens after it officially ends – when you grab someone to follow up on something that came out of your team meeting.” –Jeannie Koops-Elson
All Souls is a “network” or “program-sized” church, meaning that we offer rich and varied programs for all ages and have strong worship, formation, outreach, and parish life ministries. To offer this, we rely on inspired and empowered clergy and lay leadership, deep involvement of parish members, and communication and coordination between ministries.
What began early in the year as an experiment has proven to be a useful, informative, and even exciting means for us all to learn how to “make church.” All are invited to check it out. Come to the meeting next Monday, July 14, and sit in with a ministry you have been curious to know more about. If you don’t know your involvement interest yet, come to the meeting to find out what makes you curious!
Reflections on Small Group Leadership Training
Affinity Groups and beyond
During these last months, I have engaged with small group ministry at All Souls, both through being trained as a group leader and then starting up and leading an affinity group. My hope going into Small Group Leadership Training, led by the Rev. Dan Prechtel, was to hone skills that would allow me to take full advantage of the opportunities that will be presented to me by my time living in intentional community with the Episcopal Service Corps in Chicago. When I leave for Chicago in August, I want to be well-equipped to reach out and form connections with the community there.
My goal with Inklings II, the affinity group that I launched in March, has been to reach out and connect with other writers at All Souls. I do recognize that I have not been as aggressive in publicizing it as I might have been if I felt more comfortable approaching strangers during coffee hour, but I have taken a great deal of joy in planning prompts and running the sparsely attended monthly gatherings at Au Coquelet on the last Monday of each month. I do not foresee Inklings II outliving my time at All Souls, but it has been an experience that has taught me how to take joy in projects that I invest my characteristically intense energy in, even when they don’t take off in exactly the way I had hoped.
During the group leader training, Dan explained that All Souls has made it a priority to focus on small groups as an integral part of parish ministry. As someone who will be leaving All Souls soon, I feel like this training has given me a new set of tools to approach the complexities of intentional community during my time with the Episcopal Service Corps in Chicago. The training has been useful to me because it has helped me to actively recognize my own limitations, and take time to think about them. When I completed this training, I was reasonably confident in my own inner awareness, knowing that I will be prepared to navigate successes and “almost-successes” when forming connections with individuals as the Spirit moves us to, as Thomas Kelly puts it, “recognize each other’s inner light.”
When Disaster Strikes
All Souls Prepares to Be a Helpful
All Souls has a new Disaster Preparedness Committee and it’s already met three times! (I bet you didn’t even know this.) In response to a resolution from last October’s diocesan convention, all of the churches in the diocese are invited to create a disaster preparedness plan based on the templates and methods created by Episcopal Relief and Development.
Overachievers that we are, ASEP has decided to tackle the gold-level comprehensive planning process. Committee chair Malcolm Plant has built an eight-person committee to tackle the sixty-page plan and the four-meeting facilitated process.
The meat of the plan involves creating a detailed profile of our parish’s assets and capacities and resources (human and otherwise), compiling a complete list of our congregational, diocesan, and community contacts, and generating a thorough report of our ministries and activities. The entire process though is couched in the higher-level visioning questions of community embeddedness. If a disaster happens, how can we be present to our neighbors? How can we minister locally to vulnerable populations? What would it look like for us to live into an eponymous parish-style ministry post- (and pre-) disaster?
One of the most critical components of the planning process is a parish-wide survey purposed with compiling 1) parishioners contact information, emergency contact information, and potential post-disaster needs, and 2) parish-wide human resources, professional skills and volunteer rosters.
Rest assured, none of the information you offer to our survey will be used for anything except in our congregational response to a local or region-wide emergency. Choosing “yes” or disclosing a volunteerable skill is in no way a commitment – it merely means you will become part of a register of parishioners with a particular set of skills and that you might be invited to exercise them as part of a parish response. And of course, if there’s any personal information you’d rather not share – please just leave those sections blank. As they say in the disaster prep world: “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” Any info you can offer is better than nothing!
Mark Your Calendars!
A FEW SPOTS LEFT FOR PARISH CAMPING AT BIG SUR JULY 18-20
The all-parish camping trip at the Santa Lucia campground right on the river with a family friendly beach area, is a private and secluded campground in the gorgeous Big Sur area. The weekend will be framed with Evening and Morning prayer, and an informal Sunday Eucharist in the outdoor chapel. Ocean beaches are within driving distance for those who want to venture out. The campground is reserved from 1 pm on Friday through 1 pm on Sunday. The cost is $30 per person for the weekend (children under 5 stay for free). To register please contact Jeannie Koops-Elson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or The Rev. Kristin Krantz (email@example.com).
KRANTZ FAMILY SEND OFF: JULY 27
Kristin Krantz has enriched our lives and worship at All Souls in so many ways over these last 8 years. We hate to see her and her family leave us but would love to send them off with our appreciation and blessings. After the 11:15 service on July 27, please stay on for a festive potluck lunch, a program honoring Kristin and her family, and a sendoff gift. We’ll use Kristin & Bryan’s midwestern roots and Kristin’s love of kitsch to set the theme of our potluck. So dust off those old cookbooks and county fair recipes and bring in your favorite hot dish or jello salad to share! Questions? Talk to Carol Ann Brown or Jeannie Koops-Elson.
SAVE THE DATE FOR THE PARISH RETREAT
Every fall, All Souls gathers for our annual parish-wide retreat in the beautiful setting of the Bishop ́s Ranch in Healdsburg, in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country. The Parish Retreat is a weekend of reflection, spiritual growth, and fellowship for all ages. The dates for the retreat this year are September 19 to 21. Beginning on Sunday, July, 20, you can register with Ed McDonough, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.