From the Interim Rector
Longings: It’s the season, it’s the theme. We long to greet one another with hugs. We long to cook supper for someone other than ourselves (if we’re home alone) or to have an evening alone (if you are with someone 24/7.) We long to pray and sing together without time delays. We long for communion, deep communion with one another. And perhaps most poignant, we long to make Eucharist with one another.
A few weeks ago, before I left Cincinnati, I had a physically distant front porch meeting with our parish rector and her small daughters. We talked church, we talked Scripture, and we talked Jesus. Tea and cookies were available. We made eucharist.
Last Sunday I helped Dani fill bags for Project Sandwich. The sandwiches, when they arrived, were generous and heavy. Each one of these bags carries with it our love for the those who struggle with this pandemic even more than we do. Each of the bags carries sustenance for not just the body but also for the soul. We are grateful for our ability to share, and while we can’t be with them, the recipients know we care. We make eucharist.
Yes, I know, eucharist is not Eucharist. We are learning more and more ways to make eucharist with one another, e.g., conversation at a physical distance, online shared meals, and sending food to others. We will continue to expand our understanding of this ‘means of Grace’ with different ‘outward and visible signs.’ We will find new ways to feed one another and be fed, and perhaps these new ways to make eucharist will reveal God’s redemption of and in this time of pandemic.
And still. We long for Eucharist. Churches everywhere struggle with how to respond to this longing. In the last few weeks this conversation has deepened at All Souls.
For a long time it has been the Church’s practice to take communion to those in the hospital or who are homebound or cannot be in church. This is neither drive-by nor virtual communion. It is one or two persons visiting one or two persons, bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ, the prayers and love of the People, and the consecrated bread and wine.
When we were thinking about this summer, Phil wondered if I would be willing to see if we could expand that tradition to serve All Soulsians. So here’s what we are thinking. On the Sunday morning altar there will be bags just like the ones we use in Project Sandwich. Instead of sandwiches and chips they will contain envelopes of wafers and cruets of wine. These elements will be consecrated during the Eucharist and at the usual time, given to Clergy and Lay Eucharistic Visitors who will be sent forth to those at home. Three or four people – wearing masks – will go to designated neighborhoods. Each minister will serve two or three persons or families.
The persons or families receiving Eucharist will sign up ahead of time, participate in the live-stream and prepare a plate and glass. When notified of the Eucharistic Minister’s arrival, they will step outside – wearing masks – and make room so that the minister can stand at least six feet away from the recipients and place the bread on the plate and pour wine into the glass. All gathered will pray together and share Eucharist.
We are still working on the details, but the ministers are ready and willing. We hope to begin early August. Until then let’s keep making eucharist where and when and however we can.
Big Sur Photos
Big Sur 2020 wasn’t going to happen, until at the last minute we got a call from the campground at Santa Lucia to say that they in fact could host us. With just a few accommodations, we were able to pull off our annual camping trip. We managed to round up 29 All Soulsians plus one parishioner from St. Clement’s and another Episcopalian in the East Bay who was looking for a camping trip!
The trip was great and as Liam Ereneta and Tess McGinley noted in the Soulcast, it was just good to be in the physical presence of other All Soulsians.
Watch with Me Book Group
Some of us know Wendell Berry through his poetry and essays. Others have spent time with the big-hearted novels of inter-generational relationships forged with the care of time
For some, Watch With Me will serve as an introduction to the people of Port William, his fictional farming community in rural Kentucky. This volume is singular in that it’s a virtual haiku of the larger themes of the writer who’s been called the prophetic American voice of the 21st century.
On Sunday July 24 at 9:25 we begin with Jack Shoemaker’s introduction to the stories—Jack and Wendell have worked together as editor and author for more than 45 years.
On August 2, we’ll join Jeannie Koops-Elson in a discussion of the novella in its echoic retelling of Matthew.
On August 9, we’ll explore why Ptolemy Proudfoot carries the name he does, remembering that Claudius Ptolemy — rough contemporary of the writers of the Gospels— is called the inventor of geography. I’ll help guide this discussion.
On August 16, Emily Hansen Curran leads a discussion of what Wendell Berry calls“membership,” those bound by kinship,
work, history, faith, place, and affection as we too struggle to find The Beloved Community in these, our own dark times.
We’re so hoping you’ll join us.
Live Streaming News
The live stream of Sunday services can now be accessed through our website (rather than simply on Facebook)! Click here to watch on Sunday morning.
Adult Formation Class this Sunday
At 9:15 we start Wendell Berry’s WATCH WITH ME with Jack Shoemaker’s overview and a guided discussion of the six linked short stories with which the tale begins. This book is only 208 pp in its entirety, and the stories provide a quick, comic, even romping read.
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89163654939?pwd=SlorREQzTVVyMGwzM0ZQYlZKeGxQQT09
Meeting ID: 891 6365 4939
Children & Family News
We will be doing a children’s chapel program this Sunday at 9:30am via Zoom. It should last about 30 minutes. Please email Whitney Wilson for a link so your family can participate. We are hoping that this will give the kids a time together for their own “church” and a time to see their friends as well. Please email Whitney Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want a Zoom invite or have any questions.
If you are looking for some current information regarding Children’s Chapel or the upcoming Kids Book Club – check out the new additions to the All Souls website. The All Souls Website has been updated to include some new information and resources(including the links for all the storybook videos) for families. Here is the link: http://www.allsoulsparish.org/children-youth-and-families/childrens-virtual-formation-during-covid/
All Souls After Hours
Coffee Hour this week! BYOC (or T) and jump on the Zoom call following Sunday’s service (around 11:45 or so) to mingle with other All Soulsians and meet new folks! Email Emily for any questions, email@example.com.
Meeting ID: 897 0576 0446
Evening Prayer via Zoom
Here is the link for the Thursday night BCP Compline https://schoolmint.zoom.us/j/7124066649?pwd=d0Z4c1RHeld0QllOLzdlS1IxK3FKZz09. For safety, the password needed to join the call is 329903.
All Souls Geek Squad
If you’re having any trouble with technology during this time of tech-only contact with others, we want to help! On the homepage of our website is a box with the words “Technical Help”. Click on that box and you will be taken to a form that you can fill out. Once you fill that out, we’ll have someone get in touch with you to help with your tech problems. You can also click here to access the form directly.
The Soulcast is Back! Check out Episode 14 which kicks off a new round of co-hosts with Emily Hansen Curran.
Ongoing Canned Food Drive
The ASP Food Drive continues to pick up and deliver food for the Berkeley Food Pantry on a weekly basis. Food contributors and drivers participate every other week. Please email Cathy: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Wednesday 9am Service
Join the Zoom call here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86087951049?pwd=THNxbjlqMm5zdjc5RGNLWkFrZk16QT09
Meeting ID: 860 8795 1049