From the Rector

Five Streets to Grace

To walk from All Souls, Berkeley to Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, you need only take five streets. I recently found this out while accompanying seven of our youth on a pilgrimage to the cathedral this past Sunday. Cedar to Shattuck to Telegraph to Broadway (with a ferry across the Bay) to Sacramento.

For the better part of a year, ever since reading about medieval pilgrimages to English and French cathedrals, I’ve been wondering about what a pilgrimage to our cathedral might be like. Thanks to the wisdom and planning of the Rev. Maggie Foote and our seminarian Michael Drell, and the courage and persistence of some of our youth, this past Sunday we found out. Our pilgrimage began at the 9am service with a departing blessing from the Rev. Michael Lemaire and the congregation, and at 10:10am, from the corner of Cedar and Spruce, our band of pilgrims began our journey.

Often pilgrimages stretch over weeks and even months––apparently there is a Roman Catholic nun who has been on pilgrimage for years–– so our day-long pilgrimage was relatively brief. But it still involved a good bit of walking at around 7.5 miles, a sacred destination in one of the more beautiful cathedrals in the United States, and one of the essential experiences of pilgrimage, the mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar.

Many of the neighborhoods we walked through were familiar to our youth––near their home, or places where they hang out, go to concerts, or had recently visited. Along the way we even encountered familiar people––three different All Soulsians (Dan Carlson, Teresa Vosper, and Nat Lewis), and dropped by to visit a fourth (Mardie and Carlisle Becker).

And, like in any pilgrimage, the changes and chances of the journey were as important as the destination, the encounter of the unfamiliar was revelatory. It was incredible to watch these pilgrims stitch maps together as they realized where they were, and a place that was up to this point unfamiliar became known. Who knew that mural was there? Or that a Thai restaurant in Temescal serves grilled chicken hearts? In the unfamiliar were also challenging moments––a corner where a resident had been killed in a crosswalk, a difficult encounter between two people on the street. And like on many pilgrimages, along the way we experienced the kindness of strangers––once when a member of a nearby homeless encampment escorted us across a busy intersection.

It was for this kind of encounter that we encouraged ourselves to be aware of unexpected beauty and surprising kindness. In the weeks to come we will be gathering photos that our pilgrims took along the way, but here are a few that show the kinds of beauty we found in murals, public art, and even in the reflections of towers.

In the end, the pilgrimage was headed to a destination. After stops at the Ferry Building and the Cable Car Museum we came to Grace Cathedral, decked out with Pride stripes up its steps. We explored the various chapels (AIDS Interfaith, Nativity and Grace), walked the stone labyrinth, and simply sat and prayed in the cavernous space. One pilgrim found that listening to beautiful music in a cathedral was the very best therapy you could get.

Mediterranean food in the Cathedral Dining Room and part of the evening liturgy finished our day, and gratitude emerged––for the journey that brought us safely to the cathedral (and for the cars that brought us home), for the companionship that accompanied us along the way, and for the wonder of beauty and kindness that were found, expected and unexpected alike, our sense of home expanded once more.



From the Presiding Bishop

Statement on Supreme Court Dobbs Decision

Today the Supreme Court released its decision in the case of Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The court has overturned the constitutional right to abortion that was recognized in the seminal 1973 case Roe v. Wade.  

While I, like many, anticipated this decision, I am deeply grieved by it. I have been ordained more than 40 years, and I have served as a pastor in poor communities; I have witnessed firsthand the negative impact this decision will have.

We as a church have tried carefully to be responsive both to the moral value of women having the right to determine their healthcare choices as well as the moral value of all life. Today’s decision institutionalizes inequality because women with access to resources will be able to exercise their moral judgment in ways that women without the same resources will not.

This is a pivotal day for our nation, and I acknowledge the pain, fear, and hurt that so many feel right now. As a church, we stand with those who will feel the effects of this decision—and in the weeks, months, and years to come.  

The Episcopal Church maintains that access to equitable health care, including reproductive health care and reproductive procedures, is “an integral part of a woman’s struggle to assert her dignity and worth as a human being” (2018-D032). The church holds that “reproductive health procedures should be treated as all other medical procedures, and not singled out or omitted by or because of gender” (2018-D032). The Episcopal Church sustains its “unequivocal opposition to any legislation on the part of the national or state governments which would abridge or deny the right of individuals to reach informed decisions [about the termination of pregnancy] and to act upon them” (2018-D032). As stated in the 1994 Act of Convention, the church also opposes any “executive or judicial action to abridge the right of a woman to reach an informed decision…or that would limit the access of a woman to safe means of acting on her decision” (1994-A054).   

The court’s decision eliminates federal protections for abortion and leaves the regulation of abortion to the states. The impact will be particularly acute for those who are impoverished or lack consistent access to health care services. As Episcopalians, we pray for those who may be harmed by this decision, especially for women and other people who need these reproductive services. We pray for the poor and vulnerable who may not have other options for access. We urge you to make your voice heard in the way you feel called but always to do so peacefully and with respect and love of neighbor.  

The Most Rev. Michael Curry

Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church

Save the Dates

July 15-17, All Parish Campout

July 8-15, Youth Group High School Immersion Trip

August 19, All Souls at the A’s Game

September 16-18, All Parish Retreat at the Bishop’s Ranch

Weekly Worship

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 offerings this Sunday: 

There are three class offering this Sunday:

  • Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 7:30a. Contact Kate Murphy, to join that Zoom call, or join them in-person in the Common Room.
  • Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 10:10a. Contact Daniel Prechtel, to join that Zoom call, or join them in-person in the Chapel.

*The Summer Book Group is not meeting this week.

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

All Parish Camping Trip

You can still sign-up for the church camping trip! Join us July 15th-17th at Pine Grove Resort and Campground in Cobb, California! This is a private campground, and we have booked the entire group camping site which means we’ll have tons of space to bring up to 100 people! It will be hot, but there are two pools (one chlorinated, and one natural spring-fed!) as well as a creek on the property so there are lots of opportunities for recreation. There is a fire-pit and a cob oven, and plenty of places to sit and eat. They have newly renovated bathrooms (with showers) as well! Check out their listing on HipCamp for pictures if you’re interested.

This will be a weekend full of fun, relaxation, and time to connect with other All Soulsians. We’ll have a pizza party using the cob oven on Saturday night, and a Eucharist service on Sunday morning, otherwise this is mostly unstructured fun with occasional pop-up activities! Feel free to bring games and activities to share. Sign-up here!

From the Living Waters Project

Now that the fundraising portion of the Living Waters Campaign is complete, we want to hear from you! We have created a short survey where we hope you will share your hopes for the Project phase of Living Waters and let us know if you have a particular interest, area of expertise, or contact to share. While we may not be able to make use of everybody’s favorite plumber, we do hope you will fill out the survey by Sunday, July 3rd. This survey is just the first step in this process, and there will be more opportunities for conversation in the future! Thank you!

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.

Summer Book Club

Part 2 (July 24 – August 7)

We have four possible books for our mid-summer book group. Final choice will be announced soon!

Colum McCann Apeirogon: A Novel

Omar al Akkad What Strange Paradise

Charles Blow Fire Shut up in my Bones

Peter Gomes The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart