From the Rector
This past week I took part in a conference presented by the Episcopal Parish Network in Jacksonville, Florida. For years I have been wary of this particular gathering. You see, for decades this organization was known as the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes, or CEEP. And, even though All Souls could have been members after Ann Jordan’s generous bequest, that was not a club that I was interested in joining. It’s not that they didn’t put on interesting conferences. In fact they brought in really interesting speakers, like Brené Brown, and Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia. Simply put, I was not that interested in joining a group that chose to self-select around aggregated wealth.
And then COVID happened and the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers happened. And groups all around our nation began to engage more earnestly in racial reckoning. To my surprise, the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes were among them. No longer did you need to have at least $1 million in a fund in order to join––any Episcopal congregation could be a member. And they renamed themselves with an expanded purpose, becoming the Episcopal Parish Network. And with that reorientation came a desire to bring new voices to the table and engage the work, in the words of the Dr. Catherine Meeks, of “the disruptive process of getting well.”
So when I was asked several months ago to take part in leading a workshop on the future of congregations I decided to set aside some of my skepticism and attend. And I found myself surprisingly encouraged. The keynote speakers came from a wide variety of places in our world. We heard from the presidential scholar Jon Meacham, the Executive Director of the Dupont fund in Jacksonville, Mari Kuraishi, the Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Southern Africa, the Rt. Rev. Vincentia Kgabe, Bishop of Lesotho, and the Rev. Dr. Sam Wells, Rector of St. Martin in the Fields in London, England. They each spoke with courage and conviction about some of the most pressing challenges we are facing in this country and around the globe. Their humility, humor and grace were palpable. Each of them witnessed to a Christian life that opens doors and trusts that the Spirit will enter in. I found myself renewed in my leadership and encouraged in my faith.
It was in a workshop led by Dr. Catherine Meeks and the Rev. Dr. Altagrazia Perez-Bullard entitled “Realizing Beloved Community” that I began to see the slow but sure shift taking place. It’s not that many of the leaders gathered no longer represented congregations with significant amounts of wealth and privilege, or that hard truths weren’t being said, it’s that many other people who I was in conversation with were willing to be pilgrims on this long journey towards collective wellness. It’s a journey that will be filled with mistakes, there is no other way to do this. And, it’s a journey towards grace that many leaders in the Episcopal Church are making together.
To be sure, there were times when it was apparent that those of us gathered at this conference more closely resembled Goliath than David. And I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced a more unsettling array of the Endowed Episcopal Industrial Complex. But still, at the end of the time, I came away with a greater sense of clarity about the reality we face, and a stronger sense of the hope we claim. And I found myself thinking that if there’s hope for a turn like that of the Episcopal Parish Network, there might be hope for all of us.
From the Vestry
Summary of the Special Vestry Meeting – March 7, 2023
Save the Dates
- March 22nd, Lenten Contemplative Service + Soup Supper (Wednesdays in Lent)
Join us for worship this week:
- 9am, in-person, indoors
- 11:15am, in-person, indoors. (click here to access the live stream)
- 5p, the Sunday Night Service, in-person, indoors, in the Chapel.
You can access the live stream through our website or by tuning into our All Souls Episcopal Parish Youtube page. Click here to watch on Sunday morning.
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.
Adult Formation Classes
- 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 @ 10:15a. Click here to join by Zoom, or join them in-person in Phil’s old office, (now called the Shadrach Room).
- Metaphors We Live By taught by the Rev. Michael Lemaire, February 26, March 5, 12, and 19 in the Parish Hall and on Zoom (click here to enter Zoom call). Metaphors shape our understanding of the world by describing one thing in terms of another. Metaphors are pervasive in our language but we often miss how they both enrich and limit our understanding. This is especially true when it comes to religious language that seeks to describe a world unseen. In this class, we will explore how metaphors function in our daily communication, how metaphors shape our understanding of ourselves, how Jesus used metaphors and in some ways is himself a metaphor of God, and how metaphors can become idols. The goal of the class is to both liberate and enrich our God talk so that we can better find the needed images and metaphors of God that will serve us through the various seasons of our spiritual life.
Children, Youth, and Family News
Sunday School We are currently in our fourth of four weeks of an exploration of metaphors, inspired by the adult formation class! This session is being taught by Jeannie Koops and Molly Nicol, and meets in the Crow’s Nest for kids who are Pre-K through 5th grade.
In case you missed the announcement, beginning March 26th, Sunday School will take place during the 9am worship service!
Youth Youth in grades 6-12 are invited to meet in the “Fiery Furnace” downstairs in the undercroft for a check-in on Sunday mornings. Youth Group Continues this week for Grades 6-12 at 7:00pm in the “Fiery Furnace”
Confirm Not Conform continues this week at 10:10 in Maggie’s Office.
Faithful Families the next Faithful Families will be Thursday, March 30th from 5:30-7:15pm! Join us for dinner, intergenerational formation, and a short evening prayer service. RSVP Here
Save the Date! Youth Walking Pilgrimage to Grace Cathedral: May 21st after the 9am service for grades 6-12! Click Here for more information.Click Here for more information.
Email Maggie for more information about Children, Youth and Family Ministries at All Souls.
Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) 2023 – July 4-8
The deadline to register is March 31!
This summer high school teens from all over the world will gather at the University of Maryland, College Park, for a three-day experience. The Episcopal Youth Event or EYE (pronounced ee-why-ee) is the single greatest and second largest gathering the Episcopal Church does.
The Diocese of California has been saving up for this event and will be able to significantly help get our youth and the chaperones there and back again. We ask each youth (and chaperone) to cover the $400 registration fee for each person. This includes your meals and lodging and all the program stuff. The Diocese will be paying for airfare and travel between the airport and the University.
More info available HERE or HERE or email Caren Miles
Episcopal Summer Camp Registrations are Now Open!
Episcopal Camps across the country are starting to open for registration, including the Diocese of California’s not one, but TWO summer camps: St. Dorothy’s Rest, and The Bishop’s Ranch. You can find more information about the dates, age ranges, and cost for each camp at the links below:
Other News & Notes
Flowers for Easter?
After the austere sticks in the quire for Lent, we hope for a burst of flowers on Easter. Can you/Would you help make this happen? If yes, write a check in any amount with “Easter flowers” in the memo line, or use the electronic giving link and choose “Flower Fund” before Palm Sunday, April 2. Contact Maggie Cooke for any questions at email@example.com.
Dr. Scott MacDougall’s Book Launch
On Thursday, April 13, at 8 p.m. Pacific Time, CDSP will celebrate the publication of Dr. Scott MacDougall’s new book, The Shape of Anglican Theology: Faith Seeking Wisdom, at an event that can be attended either in person or by livestream.
Dr. MacDougall, associate professor of theology, will discuss the themes and content of his book with the Rev. Ellen K. Wondra, PhD, research professor emerita of theology and ethics at the Bexley Seabury Seminary Federation.
Lenten Contemplative Weekly Services + Soup Supper
This Lent, rather than Soup + Story, we’re going to host contemplative services at the church following a soup supper in the Parish Hall. Each week we’ll focus on a different contemplative practice, around prayer, led by different parishioners at All Souls. Each week will also have parallel kids programming so that the entire family is welcome to join! We’ll start into dinner around 5:30 and into the prayer practice at 6:30, ending each night around 7p. More information to come! If you’re able, please sign-up to bring soup! You can do so through this link (click here).
If you are looking to set up your pledge for 2023, you may still do so by clicking on this form. There is also a super easy way to give to All Souls––for either a one-time donation or for your ongoing pledge––that is through an app called Vanco Mobile (what used to be called GivePlus). You can find this app through the app store on your phone. Once downloaded, search for All Souls Episcopal Parish and you’re in! If you’d prefer not to download the app, you can just as easily give online.
Sacred Earth: Growing Beloved Community in an Expanding Universe with Dr. Brian Swimme and Guest Musician Melanie DeMore
We are looking forward to the next Sacred Earth: Growing Beloved Community webcast live with Dr. Brian Swimme (author of Cosmogenesis) on Wednesday March 22 at 7 pm PT We are also thrilled to announce the renowned Melanie DeMore will be our guest musician.
Please register in advance and we encourage “each one to bring one” as a practice in building a beloved community. This is also a great opportunity to reach out to those with whom you wish to expand your own capacity for creation care and social justice. See www.faithinformed.org to view earlier episodes and more information.
When: Wednesday, March 22, 2023 7:00 PM