FROM THE RECTOR
Once again we have been given a gift in the calendar of saints that we follow in the Episcopal Church. As you may know, today we celebrate the feast of William Reed Huntington, an Episcopal priest of the late 19th century in the United States.
For those who might not be aware of his work in this world, William Huntington is known the driving force behind several consequential changes in the Episcopal Church, like his drive to revise the American Book of Common Prayer (resulting in the 1892 BCP), and his guidance in recognizing the leadership and authority of women in the Episcopal Church, with the creation and training of the order of deaconesses in the late 1800s.
These shifts were critical to this body, and yet Huntington is known around the world for another of his passions––the unity of the Church. Made known more widely in his 1870 book, The Church Idea (there’s something wonderfully contemporary about that title), Huntington was devoted to the belief that Jesus really means what he tells his disciples in the Gospel of John, about the “oneness” that they are to live within. This belief led him to form the four tenets of what would become the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral, a foundational Anglican ecumenical document. (hint: it’s an interesting read on pages 876-877 in the 1979 BCP…before or after a service)
This appeal to oneness, communion, common ground and unity, could not have come at a more trying time. Or perhaps it came about because it was a trying time. Still in the shadow of the Civil War and in the midst of what would be an incomplete Reconstruction, Huntington was a primary leader for the Episcopal Church during “a period of intense stress and conflict,” as the church was splintering between the tensions of its’ catholic and protestant groups. Our chronicle of saints, Holy Women, Holy Men, tells us that Huntington’s leadership within this time of division and schism (one group split off to form the Reformed Episcopal Church), was characterized by, “a reconciling spirit,” as well as, “breadth, generosity, scholarship, and boldness.”
What is clear from his witness is that Huntington took stands, stands that were bold and controversial for his day. He led the Episcopal Church into changes that were challenging and conflictual. And, the ways that he did this work of change and reformation were through appeals to common ground in the midst of difference, to relatedness while holding on to diversity.
God, but do we need this now. As I encountered the speech that John McCain gave on the Senate floor this past week, as he chastised his colleagues and implored them to collaboration and cooperation, rather than partisan, tribal “winning,” I came to realize that as long as we refuse to acknowledge the basic dignity of those whom we fundamentally disagree, we have little hope of the kind of shared koinonia that William Huntington spent his life for. This need not mean that we abandon our values or our virtues, but that we act from them, looking to expand their reach.
As we engage in critical discussions and actions around the life of these United States, my prayer for us as dual citizens––of this nation, and of the Realm of Heaven––is that as take our stands for righteousness, justice, and compassion, we work to find common ground so that others, different from us as they may be, can stand there with us.
Celebrate with Camp All Souls
Join the feast on August 11th
It’s almost time for Camp All Souls! After months and months of dreaming and planning, campers will be arriving at church in a week and a half, ready to explore, play, pray, sing, create, and adventure. The staff and volunteer counselors and I are all excited, busily scurrying to get ready, and delighted to invite the whole parish to join in the fun at the close of the week! All are encouraged to come on Friday, August 11th at 5:30 pm, for a potluck feast in celebration of these wonderful kids. The campers will have the chance to share their art and lead us all in some games and music. We will be making chili, and invite folks to bring salad, sides, bread and dessert to share. Camp is one way we build community and deepen our faith, and this evening will be a way for the kids to take the lead and give us a glimpse of their world. If you plan to come, please RSVP here.
In addition, there are still ways you can help the week run smoothly.
- A few more people to help prepare and set out snack each morning and afternoon, August 7-11. (The food will already be purchased.) You can sign up here to help.
- Do you have the right saw to slice a 1.5” wide PVC pipe vertically? Email me if you can help.
- Folks to help set up and clean up from the potluck on Friday
We are also looking the following supplies, which you can drop off at the church outside my office:
- Several hand-crank ice cream makers (to borrow)
- Beads, buttons, sequins other colorful little doodads
- Old towels
Finally, please pray for the campers, counselors-in-training , counselors and staff!
Thanks and peace,
From the Junior Warden
Notes from Vestry
This is my first installment of a recap, if you will, of the monthly vestry meeting. I will work on my delivery, but this first try is a nuts and bolts report on what we discussed. Minutes by our clerk, Gretchen Donart will be in our permanent files, but this will be an overview in the Pathfinder. The Vestry meeting on July 19th opened with a spiritual reflection brought by co-chaplain Kat Lisa on Romans 8:12-25. Our parish house project update by Ed Hahn included a positive report on the two gatherings held last week, one for the congregation and one for our neighbors. Our neighborhood open house attracted close to 30, and revealed growing support for the project, along with thoughtful questions about some of the particulars. Dani Gabriel appeared with Stephen Southern, to answer the Vestry’s questions regarding her call to the diaconate. The Vocations Committee’s recommendation to approve Dani’s entering the postulancy was unanimously endorsed. Five budget adjustments were unanimously approved, consisting of small increases to Archivist, IT, and Software, as well as a fund for Gospel Choir, and a decrease to funds allotted to Guest Artists. We are happily in the position of having a small surplus entering the summer. As is customary, offering of collected prayers of thanksgiving, petition, and guidance preceded the closing of the meeting with compline prayer.
FROM THE ASSOCIATE FOR YOUTH MINISTRIES
Trip to Angel Island
This past Saturday, Kim Wong, four middle school students, and I went to Angel Island. We enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch in Tiburon, took the ferry to the island, and spent a few hours exploring before we came back to Berkeley.
After hiking part of the perimeter trail, we took a tour of the Immigration Station. The tour guide told us how many people were forced to stay in each room and shared a few stories about individuals who stayed at the station. A member of our tour was descended from one of those individuals, which was a new discovery for everyone! It made everything more personal and brought the stories to life in a new way.
There was a video after the tour. We took advantage of the information (and the chairs) and watched it. The stories of the immigrants were truly heartbreaking. Some were detained at the center for months and then still sent back to China. We learned about the resilience of these remarkable people. One of the youth asked me why someone would immigrate to the US if they knew what the conditions would be once they arrived. I told him that they probably hoped life in the US would eventually be better than life in China.
On the car ride home, I reminded the youth of Jesus’ command to welcome the stranger. I asked how they saw that concept in the Immigration Station. Unsurprisingly, they told me they didn’t see it at all. The immigrants weren’t welcomed in the way that we’re called to welcome people. We talked about the racism of the Chinese Exclusion Act and how we can welcome immigrants who seek asylum and help in our country now.
These are not small or insignificant topics for people of any age to discuss and grapple with. In our current political climate, some of these ideas were more real than rhetorical. The youth are aware of our reality. They know what’s going on. They are compassionate towards those in need.
Of course, there was more to the trip than serious talks! We played the game “contact” as we hiked and enjoyed some ice cream by the beach. One of the youth saw an otter while we were on the ferry.
Over the summer, everyone involved with youth group takes a break. There are a few events scheduled to bring everyone back together and continue to encourage community. The Angel Island trip was one of those events.
ALL SOULS AT THE A’S
We will be hosting our annual night at the Oakland A’s game on Saturday, August 12th. The game starts at 6:05 PM, and we will meet in the parking lot at 4:00 pm to tailgate. Tickets are $25 each, and we need to have our head count by July 29th. Please make all inquiries/payments to Andrew Lisa, Phone: (925) 325-6117 Email: email@example.com.
SERVICES OF RESURRECTION FOR THE REV. CANON STEFANI SCHATZ
A Service of Resurrection for Stefani Schatz, our beloved Canon to the Ordinary, will be held on Saturday August 12th at 10:00 am at Grace Cathedral. Stefani died Wednesday, July 12th after a fourteen-month struggle with cancer. You can read her obituary here.
Instead of flowers, contributions “In Memory of Stefani Schatz” may be made to St Margaret’s Visiting Professorship of Women in Ministry at California at Church Divinity School of the Pacific.
The address is:
2451 Ridge Road Berkeley, CA 94709
Attn: Advancement Department
If you have any questions, please email DioCal’s Working Group Head for Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HIGH SCHOOL OVERNIGHT CAMPING TRIP
INTERFAITH DEFUSING HATE PROGRAM
The All Souls Justice & Peace Team wants you to know about The Defusing Hatred Program from 7-9:30 pm on Tues., Aug. 1, hosted by Christ the Lord, Pinole. Learn nonviolent communication skills in a safe environment and develop tools for responding to uneasy situations and hate speech. Enjoy an informative, visual presentation followed by conversation and hands on experience through role‐play. Christ the Lord, Pinole, host this program with the hope of building communities of care and protection of the vulnerable, especially in this time of heightened tension and public acts of aggression.
The Contra Costa Interfaith Council will share institutional and personal forms of interruption of cultural oppression. And then they will do some role‐playing of different situations to discuss how best to be present for others. They will do a quick survey of the history of hate crimes in Contra Costa County and then review the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Contact the Rev. Susan Champion to RSVP.
INTERFAITH IMMIGRATION VIGIL
Join us this Saturday, August 5th at 11:00 am at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond (5555 Giant Highway) for the monthly interfaith immigration vigil. We’ll gather with song, prayer, sacred story, and make our presence known as loudly as we can for our sisters and brothers being detained. Contact Margaret Sparks for carpooling information.