From the Associate Rector
I was reminded on Wednesday morning, during the discussion of the readings that takes the place of a sermon during the 9:00am Eucharist service of a metaphor for the church that I remember from a seminary class on leadership: the church as base camp.
Of course there are countless metaphors we could use to describe what the church is and its functions in our own lives and in the world, and no one of those metaphors is perfect or really captures the whole essence of what it means to be the church, but this one really works for me.
Thinking about the church functioning in our lives the way a base camp for an extreme summit or long trip gives me a lot of clarity around how I think about what we’re all really doing when we get together on Sundays and for other gatherings.
A base camp is a place where people stop in and prepare for a journey out into the world, and often those journeys are dangerous, difficult, and sometimes they take longer than expected. At a base camp, you’re provided with food, maps, and gear for your journey, you’ll rest and recover from your previous journey, and you’ll meet other people who have just made the journey you are about to undertake. If you listen and pay attention, there is wisdom to take with you as well
In the church we are nourished for our various journeys out into the world, however unique and treacherous they may be. We fill up on the wisdom and love that we get from one another, we’re formed in the way of Jesus that helps guide us in our journey, and we’re sustained through hope when that journey takes a little longer than expected.
As we continue coming back together as a community, my hope for each one of us is that we can be aware of what we are bringing to the community that someone else might need for their journey, and what we are taking with us for ours.
Re-Introduction of The Rev. Marguerite Judson
When the Ground Moves Beneath Our Feet
I have been re-reading C.S. Lewis classics recently and was struck by his description of the surface of Venus as a water world in his sci fi/fantasy “Perelandra.” When the protagonist lands on the planet he realizes he is floating and, after several confusing hours, manages to drag himself onto one of the floating islands which fill the oceans.
But when weather changes, when storms come, it is not only the light which shifts as the winds increase and rain falls. The very ground on which he sits (or tries to walk) ripples, trembles, climbs, or drops with bewildering speed as the ocean surfaces reflect the storm. He is not on a boat’s surface which offers a steady plane intersecting a wave. But is trying to stand or walk atop the moving wave itself – which is profoundly disorienting.
That is sort of what responding to the call to ordained ministry has felt like for me.
I was chugging along happily, raising funds for first generation college going students at UC Berkeley when my left femur broke in 2013. I had thought I would work at UCB until I was 70, then retire and read as many books a day as I could. Only when I was immobilized after surgery, I got fed up with my non-stop reading binge after about three weeks. This was a crucial first step in letting go of my picture of transition into “retirement” and surrendering to the call to ordained ministry.
So by 2015 I was enrolled at CDSP part time while still working at UCB half-time, on the path towards ordination to the priesthood. I was ordained a deacon in May 2017 and served at All Souls for my transitional deaconate, was ordained a priest that December, left UCB in early 2018 and embarked on a new career as a priest – beginning with three months as Interim Sabbatical Assoc. Rector when Rev. Liz Tichenor took her sabbatical from All Souls.
Learning new ways to lead and serve in my community of faith was like learning to walk on those floating islands of constantly changing surface shapes which Lewis describes.
In Sept. 2018 I began serving as Assoc. Rector at St. Mary the Virgin in San Francisco, which was delightful. I focused on Parish Life, Faith Formation and Evangelism and pivoted – as we all did – to Zoom land with the pandemic, when I also initiated the first round of Sacred Ground circles at St. Mary’s.
Only there were other things stirring up storms beneath and above my floating island starting about 18 months ago. I am now dealing with medical conditions which, while not life threatening, are profoundly life changing. I am no longer able to work full time and stepped down as Assoc. Rector of St. Mary’s at the end of June.
I spoke with Rev. Phil in the spring and am delighted to be returning to All Souls as an Assisting Priest.
I rejoice in the opportunity to occasionally preside and preach in a community I have called home. (For more about my roots at All Souls check out the Aug. 23, 2018 Pathfinder.). I am excited to be teaching a class on prayer during the month of October, and co-leading a class on Christian Mystics with the Rev. Dr. Prechtel next Eastertide. I am curious to see what else emerges as priorities for me with this community.
And it seems to me, looking at the ways things have kept changing since 2013, that the Holy One has been “stirring things up” in my life as an essential part of my faith walk and call to ordained ministry. I keep expecting to walk on level – or at least steady – ground…but when the ground moves beneath my feet, it is quite a different adventure!
If you’re grieving the loss of a loved one recently, and you’re interested in exploring and processing that grief in community with others who are also experiencing grief from loss, take a moment to consider joining this group offered by the All Souls Stephen Ministry leaders. Stephen Ministers are trained in offering spiritual care and Christian companionship. This group will be led by Madeline Feeley and Raymond Yee, and it will offer participants a chance to support one another and process their grief together. Please fill out this interest form if you’d like to know more. The group will meet Sunday mornings at 10:10 for eight sessions, including an information and introduction session on July 11th.
“Nothing is ever finished, everything just goes on and on, there are no boundaries, not even between the living and the dead, even that zone is quivering and uncertain.”
Karl Ove Knausgaard, A Time for Everything
As a beginner in the reading of scripture I am continually struck by how proximate God’s relationship was with our ancient forebears. From the Hebrew Bible on through the Gospels, the bond between the human and divine feels intimate, passionate, God right there to praise and decree, punish or reward.
Or, failing the personal appearance, he’d dispatch his trusted emissaries, those otherworldly beings aglow with transcendent light, God’s angels.
In A Time for Everything, Karl Ove Knausgaard’s inspired and thoroughly imagined novel, the writer asks, Where are God’s envoys now, when we and the rest of the natural world are in such dire need of intercession? Why is it exactly now that angels no longer visit us?
In answer, the novelist posits a life of the 16th century theologian Antinous Bellori, whose scholarly writings On the Nature of Angels recount those parts played by angelic beings in the stories of Cain and Abel, Noah, Lot, and the prophet Ezekiel as he foretells Christ’s sacrifice.
We’ll meet in both the Parish Hall and on All Souls’ Zoom at 10:10 during the Sunday Formation Hour. Here are the dates and page assignments.
July 25 (pp. 7 – 136) August 1 (pp. 137 – 241) August 8 (pp. 242 – 334) August 15 (pp. 335 – 499)
We hope you’ll join us in discussion of this compelling book by one the most important novelists of our time.
For the Summer Book Group Committee
Save the Dates
(*see “Other News and Notes” for more info on events)
July 16th-18th: Parish Campout at Big Sur
July 25th, 4:00pm: All Parish Hymn Singalong and Social Hour
August 12, 6:30pm: Young-ish Adults Gathering
August 22: Movie Night
September 10, 6:30pm: All Souls outing to the Oakland A’s Game
September 17-19: Parish retreat at The Bishop’s Ranch
Sunday Mornings: Join us at 9am in the courtyard, in-person (holding a 6’ distance between you and anyone outside of your pod or family). Please remember to bring your own chair (if possible) and chalice!
Or (and!) join us in person (masked!) or online for the 11:15 service, which can be accessed through our website or by tuning into our All Souls Episcopal Parish Facebook page. Click here to watch on Sunday morning. If you’d like to attend in person, don’t forget to bring your own chalice!
Wednesday Mornings: 9:00am PDT
Join us in person in the church, or online!
Join the Zoom call here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86087951049?pwd=THNxbjlqMm5zdjc5RGNLWkFrZk16QT09
Meeting ID: 860 8795 1049 Password: 520218
Thursday Night Compline (Night Time Prayers): 8:30pm PDT
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84737698405?pwd=dlh2OXZmblBYTU5hTEw5TGJXUVZNZz09
Meeting ID: 847 3769 8405
7:30am Reading Between the Lines Bible Study Contact Kate Murphy to join that Zoom call.
10:10am Reading Between the Lines Bible Study Contact Daniel Prechtel to join that Zoom call.
If you’d like to attend this class in person, it will meet downstairs in the chapel at 10:10am.
Summer Book Group for Adults Please join us for summer book group at All Souls! Starting in June, we will be discussing The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee. You may attend in person or by Zoom. The reading and discussion session is: June 13 (Intro through Chapter 3, p. 65), June 20 (Chapter 4 through Chapter 6, p. 165), June 27 (Chapter 7 through Chapter 8, p. 219), and July 11 (Chapter 9 through 10, p. 288).
Missed the previous week’s class?? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ll be recording all of the Adult Formation offerings and loading them to the Adult Formation page of our website. Click here to get there and access the class recordings.
New Racial & Social Justice Library
During the last year, All Souls has had a deep desire to share the truth about the church and our role in the history of racism. By sharing our experiences, and participating in the course called Sacred Ground, many have found life-changing ways to practice the way of Jesus and to repair the breach in our country.
There are some incredible, challenging books on racism and social justice being published right now, and we have set up a way to share these treasures among our congregation. In the narthex as you enter the sanctuary, you will find several shelves of new and used books. Please take one, keep it, pass it on, or return it. Add one or as many of your own if you see fit.
Children, Family & Youth News
Believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about the fall and Children, Youth, and Family programming at All Souls! In order to help us plan the best and most holistic programming for children, youth, and families, it is important to know a little bit about the children, youth, and families we’re hoping to serve. To that end, please fill out this form to help us get to know you and what sorts of programs you and your family may be interested in. Please submit one form per family, and all families with children from babies through high school age are encouraged to participate using this same form. Not only will this help us get some feedback about the types of programs you’d like to see, but it will also serve as a sort of registration for fall programming, so the contact information you provide here will help us get information to you in the fall about upcoming programs and events.
If you’d like to receive updates about this, but do not subscribe to the Family Bulletin, please email Maggie Foote (email@example.com) for more information.
Youth group has concluded their regular meetings for this year, but stay tuned for information about special summer events! If you have a young person in your household in grades 6-12, and do not receive updates about Youth Group events, please email Maggie at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list!
Other News & Notes
Soulcast: Our Weekly Video Announcements
Hymn Sing & Social Hour
Come out to sing and hang with fellow parishioners on July 25th from 4-6p. If you’d like to request a hymn in advance (the only way to request a hymn to be sung), fill out this form. And, of course, feel free to bring some drinks or snacks to share!
July 16-18th: All Souls Big Sur Camping Trip
If you haven’t been to All Souls @ Big Sur before, please join the community for this special time—you won’t be disappointed! (If you know, you know!) This is a beloved weekend when we make church just by being together, sheltering under the big trees, splashing in the river, playing at the beach. There is conversation and laughter and quiet. It’s glorious.
We will gather at the Big Sur river under the tall redwoods of Santa Lucia Chapel & Campground, a mission of All Saints Parish in Carmel. The group campsite has running water and toilets (but no showers), picnic tables, a group barbecue area and a large campfire circle. A communal dinner will be prepared for all (by all!) on Saturday night, but otherwise meals are individual responsibility. The weekend will be framed with Evening and Morning prayer, and an informal Sunday Eucharist in the outdoor chapel. There is a family-friendly beach at the campsite, and there are ocean beaches and great hiking within driving distance for those who want to venture out.
If you are a novice camper, are traveling with small kids, or don’t have a lot of camping supplies, this is a great way to do camping-lite! You will be surrounded by a whole community of gear, food to share, and helping hands (to hold the kid, play Uno, kick the ball, coach the S’mores, light the fire, help with the tent, provide a can opener…).
Cost: $40 per person for the weekend (children under 5 stay for free; $125 max per family)
September 10, 6:30pm: All Souls outing to the Oakland A’s Game
We’re heading to an A’s game together and tailgating before the game on September 10th. Sign-up with Don Gates (email@example.com) to get a spot for the game. Sign-up soon as we need a head count sooner than later.
People needed to “Make Church Happen”
Consider joining the Usher and or Greeters teams!
During the week the musicians practice and the sacristans ensure the altar linens and other things necessary for the service are in order for the service. They arrive early on Sunday and set up for the service. These preparations enhance our experience of Church. When we arrive on Sunday morning there are people who greet us, hand us a bulletin, and make note of newcomers then distribute wine and juice during the service. They answer our questions, help us with a chair and place to sit. They welcome us and want us to feel at home.
Does this sounds like something you’d like to do? If so, contact Renae Breitenstein.
Lectoring & Intercession on Sunday Mornings
If you are interested in becoming a Lector or Intercessor (the folks who read the bible passages and lead the prayers during the Sunday morning services), come to our Lector & Intercessor training next Sunday, June 13th between the 9 & 11:15 services. Dr. Scott MacDougall will lead a short training for anyone interested. For more information, see Emily, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday Morning Tech Help
If you are technically inclined and looking for a way to help out on Sundays, we can use the help! Mostly we’re looking for a sound tech or two, and perhaps another person or two to learn how to operate the camera. All roles come with training and great company :). See Emily for more info, email@example.com.
Justice legislation set for crucial hearing
One of the pieces of California justice reform legislation endorsed by All Souls is at a critical juncture in the legislative process. SB483 has a hearing in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tues July 13 at 9am. This is the bill that provides relief to incarcerated people who are serving time for sentencing “enhancements” that have already been stricken from California law as unjust and arbitrary. It would apply current sentencing standards to those convicted in prior years, eliminating thousands of years of additional prison time. Send your message of support to committee members here: https://apsf.assembly.ca.gov/membersstaff. Listen to the Committee hearing here: https://apsf.assembly.ca.gov/hearings.
Stephen Ministry: Christ Caring for People through People
That’s the motto of Stephen Ministry. The Stephen Minister’s role is to bring God’s love into the lives of people who are going through a difficult time or experiencing a crisis. What do Stephen Ministers do? They listen, care, support, encourage, and pray with and for a person who is hurting. And in the midst of this confidential, one-to-one, caring relationship, God’s healing love comes pouring through.
If someone you know is facing a crisis—large or small—and could benefit from the caring presence of a Stephen Minister, talk to Rev. Maggie Foote (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Stephen Ministry Leader Madeline Feely (email@example.com). Our Stephen Ministers are ready to care for you!
Ongoing Canned Food Drive
In the before times, bringing a can of vegetables or a jar of peanut butter to church was the practice of many, and every few weeks all this would add up to three or four bags of groceries that I would deliver to the Berkeley Food Pantry. Obviously when in-person church services stopped, so did the influx of food. All Souls Parish made quick and creative adjustments; without missing a beat, folks had signed up to put a bag on their porch every other week for a driver to pick up and bring to the pantry. There were perhaps two dozen households contributing, and four or five drivers so that on any given Friday, between five and 10 bags of groceries were delivered to the pantry. More than a year later, we need wider participation. Drivers have had to make adjustments , and perhaps having the same folks providing the groceries every other week is not sustainable. Please consider offering a bag of groceries for pick up every other week, and/or sign up for any every other week driving shift to pick up from 5 or so households. Contact Cathy Goshorn, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.