From the Rector
Our Part of Repair
For those who have come to All Souls more recently, for several years we have been in relationship with a couple of Berkeley faith communities––St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, and Congregation Beth El. Over the years we have collectively engaged in scriptural study, service, shared ritual, story-telling, and prayer services. From my own experience and from those who have participated in years past I can testify that these gatherings have been a powerful practice of learning and communion.
After a couple of years of trying to continue these relationships online, this Sunday will be an opportunity to renew our time of conversation and prayer in person. We will be gathering at Congregation Beth El (1301 Oxford, 2 ½ blocks north of All Souls) from 2p-4:30p this Sunday, March 5th. The focus of our time together will be an 80 minute documentary, Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Life. (you can find a trailer for the film here)(you can find a trailer for the film here)
The documentary follows the congregants of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA after it was targeted in one of the most destructive acts of anti-Semitism in U.S. history. It tells of both heartache and hope as the courageous people of Tree of Life and the communities of Pittsburgh grapple with the trauma of hatred.
Our hope in the time that we will share together this Sunday is for members of our three congregations to gather with open hearts in solidarity with one another, and consider our part in the continuing work of tikkun olam, or repair of the world. This ancient practice of Judaism is one that we at All Souls have been engaged with our siblings at Beth El and St. Paul AME for several years. It has taken place as we have built tiny homes together. It happened when members of St. Paul AME spoke up for Jordan Court at a meeting of our county supervisors. It is being seen in the Care First, Jails Last advocacy work of all three congregations. It is the work of the Isaiah Project at All Souls. Simply put, it is the work of our lifetimes, the work of restoration and repair.
Please join us this Sunday from 2p-4:30p. You don’t need to have participated before, you just need a willingness to come and listen, to sing and pray, to converse and support.
NB Due to a recently learned copyright issue, the film will only be able to be streamed in-person at Congregation Beth-El.
Building Bridges Returns
Sunday, March 5, 2023 • 12 Adar 5783
Congregation Beth El, 1301 Oxford Street, Berkeley
2:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Prior to the pandemic, members of All Souls began meeting regularly with fellow Berkeley communities Congregation Beth El and St. Paul AME Church. We started with lunches, and over the years have shared ritual and prayer, the building of tiny houses, text discussions and speaker presentations. After many months, we are thrilled to be coming back together again to view and discuss the film Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Life.
The film documents Pittsburgh, PA’s powerful community response to hate and antisemitism in the aftermath of the deadly attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in 2018 that killed eleven people. For three years the film follows survivors, families of the victims, diverse community members, students and civic leaders as they examine their vulnerabilities and the impact of rising antisemitism, racism, hate speech and gun violence. Against the backdrop of a tumultuous period in the country, a local community that has faced violence and trauma works to heal and grapple with what it means to be stronger than hate. Click here to view the film trailer.
This event will be mixed presence (Zoom and in-person), with light refreshments available for those attending in person at Congregation Beth-El.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 820 7970 1535
From Family Ministries
Contemplation with Children
I’ve worked with children for a long time, and their capacity for asking the hard questions, meaning-making, empathy, and reflection never cease to amaze me. Something I had never experienced until, as a college student, I got a part-time job at a church that offered Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (a Montessori based Christian formation program similar to Godly Play) was children’s capacity for silence and contemplation. I came into this role directly after a summer working as a camp counselor where our formation was all about singing at the top of our lungs, playing games loosely related to Bible stories, and sharing nighttime prayers with our cabin mates. These are all totally valid approaches to formation, but there wasn’t a lot of room for silent, or even quiet, contemplation at camp. When I started working at the church in the fall, I had no idea that my Sunday mornings would soon be full of children reverently lighting candles, quietly listening to and contemplating the scriptures as they were being taught by their teachers, and working quietly on art responses to what they had heard. When we would gather at the end of the class, I would be astonished by the reflections they offered after taking time to quietly consider what they had heard. That experience totally changed my approach to Children’s Ministry, and has stayed with me throughout my career.
I share this with you now because if you have children, you may have seen that the Wednesday Evening Lenten Series is all about Contemplation, and you may have thought that that topic might not make for the most family and child friendly experience. I want to suggest that that’s not necessarily the case. First, there will be companion programming for children alongside the teaching for adults that will be based on the same contemplative practice each week, presented in a more developmentally appropriate way.
This past week, using the labyrinth as our contemplative practice, we saw a young person from our community take on the posture of holding space for the whole group by being the first person on the labyrinth, leading the way, and the last person to leave the courtyard after everyone was finished. And all this after participating in 10 minutes of silent contemplation! Now, this is not something this young person was asked to do, it’s something that she took on for herself out of her own sense of her place in the group. This is the kind of thing that can happen when we leave room for children to explore contemplative practices and quiet reflection and invite them into our corporate practices in meaningful ways, and as we saw Wednesday, it blesses all of us when we do.
Save the Dates
- March 8, Lenten Contemplative Service + Soup Supper (Wednesdays in Lent)
- March 5, Breaking Bread, Building Bridges Event
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.
Adult Formation Committee wants your input!
The Adult Formation Committee is in early stages of planning for the summer reading group and the calendar for the 2023-2024 season. We would love to hear your ideas about:
- What book or books might you recommend for the summer reading group? We encourage books by authors of diverse background that lend themselves to a religiously focused discussion.
- What classes would you like to attend next year? Suggestions of both topics and speakers are welcome!
Please send your ideas to Anne Yardley (firstname.lastname@example.org) before March 7th. Thanks for helping to shape our communal learning opportunities!
Children, Youth, and Family News
Sunday School We are currently in our second 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.
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 Parish Hall.
Confirm Not Conform continues this week at 10:10 in Maggie’s Office in Jordan Court.
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.
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 8!
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
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).
Open Door Dinner
Open Door Dinner is next Sunday, March 12th. If you are able or interested in helping put the meal together or deliver some meals to the camps around Berkeley, please see Mary Rees, email@example.com for more information.
2nd Thursday Lunch
All women of the parish are invited to a potluck lunch on the 2nd Thursday of the month (March 9th) at 12p in the Parish Hall. Please bring one of your favorite lunch dishes or a beverage to share and feel free to invite other women. Contact Gloria Bayne for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 through our personalized online donation page by clicking here.