From the Rector
Why We Remember
I do not believe in manipulation. But I do believe in the sacred act of remembering. This came to mind this week as I read more about a new bill that has been signed by the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, called the “Stop WOKE Act.” It’s a piece of legislation that is trying to restrict teaching in the state of Florida (in schools or businesses) that could, “prompt people to feel discomfort, guilt, or anguish about a historical event because of their race, sex, or national origin.”
Again, I don’t put much trust in manipulation, of attempting to emotionally coerce someone to feel a certain way by deceptive means. And, I believe deeply in the practice of learning about or remembering what Deborah Britzman has termed “difficult knowledge.” To come to difficult knowledge is to become aware of challenging experiences that have happened in our community and country and world––the Tulsa Massacre of 1921, the forced sterilizations of women of color in this country, and the Rwandan and Armenian genocides, to name a few. Sometimes we are learning this knowledge for the first time, other times we are remembering it once again. In any case it can be hard to come to grips with. Big feelings can follow, and those feelings can be destabilizing.
There are many reasons why I don’t believe in manipulation. One of them is that this kind of change of mind or heart does not often remain. Once the motivating factor of the manipulation is gone––fear, false love, half-truths––the change often evaporates. In order for a real change of heart to take place, what our gospels refer to as metanoia, the remembering of difficult knowledge needs to happen with agency, guidance, and support.
We are a people who remember. Our Hebrew Scripture is woven through with calls to remember––that Abraham was a migrant, of the covenants made with God’s People, of the exodus to Babylon. Each week the central act of Christian liturgy is an act of remembering. We remember the arc of salvation, the life of Jesus, the last meal that he shared with his friends. And in a most difficult piece of knowledge we remember, or bring into our hearts and minds, the death on a cross of our Christ.
The work of remembering, of coming to difficult knowledge and allowing it to change is not for the faint of heart. It can hurt. When you take that knowledge in, really consider it, it will change you. Perhaps that is what the legislators of Florida are so concerned about. Many of the stories that we encountered as part of the Sacred Ground curriculum were deeply unsettling. But they are also essential to being aware and present to the current world that we live in.
If Faulkner was right, that, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” then it is critical for us to take heart and to remember as much of the stories that brought us to this day as possible. It’s the kind of work that took place in our General Convention this past week, as delegates read aloud the names of women who were elected by their dioceses to serve at General Conventions past but never granted seat when they arrived.
This is the difficult but necessary and sacred work of remembering. We may not like who we have collectively been, what we have collectively done. But we need to remember. For, to paraphrase Edmund Burke, Winston Churchill, and George Santayana, if we do not remember the stories of our past, we are destined to repeat them.
Jordan Court Community Team
Less than one year ago we were all patiently waiting for the residents of Jordan Court to move in––waiting in prayer with hearts and eyes full of hope and love––to offer what we have to the incoming residents. Now they have arrived! And our congregation has an incredible amount of love, services and goods to offer these residents.
Kaki Logan, Cathy Goshorn, and I began meeting with Emily Hansen Curran, and together we have formed the Jordan Court Community Team. Our working mission statement is as follows: we are a subteam of the Justice & Peace Committee, whose goal is to facilitate and build trusting relationships between parishioners of All Souls and Jordan Court residents by collaborating with the Jordan Court Service Coordinator to understand ways we can utilize the talents of community members and parishioners.
The four of us have begun convening and collaborating to get a sense of the most pressing matters regarding our relationship with our new neighbors. Cathy and Kaki began meeting with the on site SAHA Service Coordinator, Jason Goode, right away. We came to see that the top priorities for Jordan Court are activities and education. To start, Jason hopes to have Tai chi, history and ESL classes.
With all of the glorious offers coming in, Cathy, Kaki and I quickly realized that we must immediately start sorting through how parishioners want to support Jordan Court, and how we can best incorporate what is offered to best serve our relationship with our neighbors. If you have a service, lesson, or a gift to provide, please email our team at JCCommunityteam@gmail.com. Once our team has received your email we will set up a time to discuss how to proceed. We will ask that all volunteers attend a volunteer orientation prior to the classes or events they hope to be involved with, and we will set up an orientation before the fall starts (time and date TBD).
We are looking forward to hearing your ideas and are grateful to be embarking on this incredible adventure of building a relationship with our new neighbors.
JC Community Team Member
Youth Immersion Trip Fundraiser
Did you know that right now, 5 of our All Souls youth are on an immersion trip to Los Angeles, along with three youth from Christ Church, Alameda?
While we have been away, we have been serving meals and sorting donations at the Union Rescue Mission, one of LA’s oldest ministries to unhoused people. Along with giving our time and energy to the URM, we have been immersing ourselves in the history and culture of Los Angeles, as well as sitting in LOTS of traffic.
When we return from our trip, we will fill you in on all the details and what we learned while we were away. In the meantime, you may be wondering how you can support our youth both on this trip, and on future trips.
First, please pray for us, for our safe travel home and that we take what we’ve learned and experienced this week and integrate it into the way in which we view the world once we return home.
Second, support our fundraising efforts! After we return from our trip, our youth will be participating in 2 workdays to help clean up and beautify the grounds of All Souls. This will include (but isn’t limited to) tidying up the sand in the courtyard, removing the overgrowing vine in the preschool area, removing trash from the property, etc.
If you’d like to sponsor a youth’s time and energy to help make our grounds beautiful, you can send a check to the church with “youth immersion trip” in the memo line, or donate online and email me and let me know the amount and date so we can track it! Anything you can give is greatly appreciated, as it makes it possible for our youth to travel at a low cost to their families, while getting the full experience of service and immersion. I know from experience that trips like these can have an impact on youth for years to come.
Thanks for your support and prayers,
Save the Dates
August 19, All Souls at the A’s Game
August 21, Rally Sunday & Blessing of the Backpacks
August 21, Safe Church Training for all keyholders
September 16-18, All Parish Retreat at the Bishop’s Ranch
Join us for worship this week:
- 9am, in-person, indoors
- 11:15am, in-person, indoors. This service will also be live streamed.
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. This service will move indoors if the weather is below 40 degrees at 8:15a, if the AQI is over 150, or if there is rain.
Then join us in the Parish Hall at 5p Sunday Night Service for Evening Prayer.
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. Masks are required for this service as it is indoors.
Adult Formation Classes
There are three class offering 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 @ 10:10a. Click here to join by Zoom, or join them in-person in the Chapel (downstairs at church).
- Summer Book Group begins! @10:10a in the Common Room (and on Zoom––click here). The first book we’ll read is Thomas Merton’s Contemplative Prayer for June 19, 26, and July 10th. In the final group meeting we’ll read and discuss Thomas Merton’s book The Wisdom of the Desert.
Summer Book Group, Round 2
Join us July 24, July 31 and August 7 to discuss Omar El Akkad’s book What Strange Paradise. This compelling story of a nine-year old Syrian refugee who washes up on the shore of a small island and is rescued by a teenage girl. As the blurb says, “What Strange Paradise is the story of two children navigating a hostile world. But it is also the story of empathy and indifference, of hope and despair – and about the way each of those things can blind us to reality.” This group will meet in the Common Room between the 9 & 11:15 services and on Zoom (click here to access Zoom call).
Children, Youth, and Family News
While Sunday School is on hiatus for the summer, there are fun activities planned for children at 10:10 on Sundays in the courtyard! Join us!
Email Maggie for more information about Children, Youth and Family Ministries at All Souls.
Other News & Notes
Now that the 9am service has moved indoors, we’re assembling a pick-up choir to sing a simple anthem each week. You don’t need to vest or attend the Wednesday evening rehearsal, just show up at 8:30 on Sunday morning. If you have questions, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org!
How to access staff & clergy in the new Jordan Court Offices
Wondering how to reach us in the new offices? Here’s how:
- Enter on Cedar & Oxford and press “001” on the call box. This will take you to the church voicemail system. Select the number of the person you are trying to reach and it will call their office phone directly.
- For Annie: press 1
- For Phil: press 2
- For Maggie: press 3
- For Emily: press 4
- For Jamie: press 5
- Once on the phone with the person you are trying to reach, but before they buzz the door open, they will give you a code that you need to either write down or remember as you will need it to enter the stairwell or the elevator.
- Once you have been buzzed into the lobby, head towards the stairs or elevator and use the code you were given to get to the 3rd floor.
- After exiting the elevator or stairwell, turn right and the All Souls offices are at the end of the hall! Voila!
- If you are entering from the church building, you can also access the offices through the gate at the courtyard. You can either text or phone a staff or clergy to get the gate code and then may enter the staff offices either by going up the outdoor stairwell or by entering the Jordan Court building and going up the elevator (the same gate code will get you in the Jordan Court building and the elevator).
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.
All Souls at the A’s Game!
Join us in our annual A’s game outing, on August 19th. We’ll meet up at 5p in the parking lot for some tailgating and then head into the game together. Please reach out to Don Gates to reserve your ticket (email@example.com). If the cost is prohibitive, please let us know.
Safe Church Training
It’s that time again when all keyholders of the church’s keys are required to take the Diocesan Safe Church training. To do this, diocesan staff, Caren Miles, will join us after the 11:15 service on August 21st to do in-person training! Lunch will be provided, but please RSVP with Maggie Foote (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Emily Hansen Curran (email@example.com). If you miss this in-person training, you will need to complete the training online. We’re also expanding the church keys to include the key fob code to Jordan Court so that keyholders can also access the staff offices.
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 or just fill out this form (which goes directly to Cathy).