From the Associate for Ministry Development
A New Thing Will Be Born
This Sunday at 5p in our courtyard a new thing will be born as we launch our newest service, called the Sunday Night Service. This service, in theory, started many years ago as I entered a tradition I knew nothing of, but of which I deeply wanted to be part. I came to All Souls six years ago, having just come from mostly non-denominational churches. When I arrived, I found the liturgy difficult and dry, but full of meaning and care. I found the music difficult to connect to, but found incredible people open to so much. And so I stayed and learned. What I have learned is that this tradition is full of so much goodness and life, and I have also learned that this tradition can easily get in its own way in expressing that goodness.
Through these years, I have stayed in touch with many friends from my non-denominational days and discovered that there are a lot of us, who have left more conservative churches––because they were not affirming enough of LGBTQ folks, or because they did not acknowledge enough the sins of racism inherent in our systems, or because of mismanaged church leadership and structure––and were wandering, wondering what could be next. Recently Sheryl Fullerton (an ex-All Soulsian) sent me this article from the Washington Post, which I found exciting and inspiring as it not only highlighted this as something happening nationwide, but because it framed the big question that is behind the Sunday Night Service: for those folks who have left more conservative church spaces, but want to stay in church, what happens next?
While there isn’t one answer to this question, I’m excited by this question because I think what we’re doing with the Sunday Night Service is an answer to this question. My wondering has been, what if the Episcopal church, with all the beauty of its theology, liturgy (most of it, anyway), norm of asking questions more than looking for answers, and specific inclusivity, could open its doors a little wider and provide a space to these folks. What if we (the Episcopal Church) could share our theological riches and offer a healing space to these fellow spiritual travelers? That is what we’re hoping to do with the Sunday Night Service.
For those of All Souls wondering what, exactly, that means––come out and try a service! What we’re discovering is that this service is bringing in many folks we didn’t know it would, like Episcopalians looking for something new, ex-Catholics, ex-Evangelicals, and even some All Soulsians who just prefer church on Sunday evenings rather than Sunday mornings 🙂
The plan, as of now, is to meet weekly on Sundays at 5p. The first and third Sundays of the month will be full Eucharistic worship services; the second and fourth Sundays will be either small group discussions around particular topics, prayer nights, parties, or whatever else we can dream up. For those months with five Sundays, we’ll gather for that Sunday for a Storytelling Dinner where we eat together and discuss one specific question, posed to the group. We’ve had two of these dinners leading up to this launch and both have been profound and even sort of magical evenings around food and telling the stories of our hearts. In about six months, we’ll evaluate where we are and what has been and see what else we can dream up.
Anyone is welcome to join us for this service. We set the time at 5p, in part, so that parents of younger children could attend most easily and in part because it’s still possible to go home and eat dinner afterwards without having too late of a Sunday night out. So, come out, if not this Sunday, some Sunday soon (with warm clothes and an open heart).
From the Rector
A Feast of a Day
In the Episcopal and Anglican traditions we name our churches. Sometimes we name them after people, like St. Paul’s Church (after the 1st century super apostle from Tarsus), or St. Mary’s Church (after the mother of Jesus), or St. Anna’s Church (after the 19th century deaconess, teacher and church planter from Georgia). Sometimes we name them after qualities of God, like Church of the Redeemer, or Church of the Holy Comforter. And sometimes we name them after theological truths, like Grace Church, or the Church of the Incarnation. This naming becomes part of the identity of the congregation, and often the truth or quality of that attribute or life story becomes an essential part of the story of the people who come worship there, decades and centuries later.
This is true for us as well, ever since we began as All Souls Chapel in 1906, a church plant from St. Mark’s, Berkeley on the south side of campus. When we were planted as an expression of God’s embrace of all the departed souls, it made an imprint on who we would become, as later witnessed in the words of Ezekiel 18 on the back wall of the nave. And it has also meant that our feast of title, our day to lean into who or what we’ve been named after, would be November 2nd, the feast of All Souls.
Over the years we’ve learned that the best way to celebrate this feast has been to transfer it to the Sunday of All Saints, effectively making it the Feast of All Saints & All Souls. This Sunday is one that I always look forward to––there are often baptisms, and we always pull out all the stops. I also look forward to it because it is one of the more tender, heart-filled Sundays of the year. Each year we have found different ways to engage in the Christian practice of re-membering with the souls and saints of the past, those we have loved and see no longer.
We will be doing this again on Sunday, this time by hanging ribbons in the nave with the names of those dear to us. If you have already submitted those names, they will be up on Sunday, and if you haven’t yet, you’ll have the opportunity to write them when you come to church, as our prayers and remembrance of these cloud of witnesses will be with us for the next several weeks.
But that is not all. Because on this feast day we will also be feasting and celebrating in two powerful ways. One is that we will be eating food together, sharing the dishes that loved ones have handed down to us. If you would like to share a dish, either bring it to the 9am service or in time for our All Saints and All Souls feast in the Jordan Courtyard.
“Wait, what?,” you may be asking. “The Jordan Courtyard? Really?” Yes, friends, this Sunday, on our feast of title, we will also be having an open house in Jordan Court to see the spaces that we have been dreaming about and working towards for over six years. If you are coming to the 9am service, we will be heading over to Jordan Court immediately following the service. If you are coming to the 11:15am service, please head to the entrance by All Souls courtyard to learn the best path to the Jordan Courtyard. After signing liability waivers (the site is still not quite finished), we will share a few words, some delicious food, and visit the offices, All Souls apartments, a studio, and the terraces of Jordan Court until 11:10a, when we head back to the church for the 11:15am service, including three baptisms!
But wait, there’s more! Because this Sunday evening at 5pm will also officially mark the launch of the Sunday Night Service, a new weekly community of All Souls. This is the service that Emily Hansen Curran, Maggie Foote, Dan Carlson, and a core group have been working on for over a year, and I am very excited to see this new expression of All Souls begin.
So come one, come all. In the morning in the courtyard, for elevensies at Jordan Court, for baptisms at midday, for a new community in the evening. Come to remember those we love, come share life with each other, come to feast together.
From the Stewardship Committee
Starting Well – Very Well. And…
If you have already made a pledge, thank you.
If you haven’t made a pledge yet, please do it today. Clicking HERE will take you directly to the google form for making a pledge.
The vestry is developing the first draft of the All Souls budget for 2022, so every pledge is important, particularly when we can count on it as we plan for next year.
Here are some of the details from the campaign so far –
As of Thursday morning, we have received pledges totaling $530,836 from 117 households and three youth. That is far beyond where I thought we would be at this point. The generosity of All Soulsians has been moving.
Many people who make large pledges make them early, often in the first week of the campaign. This year we have had 87 households make average pledges of almost $4,800. That is amazing. At the same point last year, the average pledge was $4,650 and in 2020 it was $3,650.
We have seen people make significant increases in already large pledges, we have seen new pledgers make large gifts. And the biggest trend is that many, many people are increasing their pledge from last year. It is really making a difference.
This is a great start. And whether or not we make our goal of $675,000 for 2022 depends on the broad community and the next several weeks. Over the past two years, pledges after the first two Sundays have averaged about $2,000. If we can maintain that average and get 70 more pledges, we will make our goal; All Souls will be on a strong financial foundation to start 2022.
That may be a stretch. 70 more pledges would bring us to 187 pledging households. More than we had last year and we have fewer households to draw from. But, having seen the spirit of generosity and community that animates this place, I won’t bet against us.
If you haven’t pledged yet, please join the community of pledgers today.
Save the Dates
(*see “Other News and Notes” for more info on events)
November 5: Family Movie Night – Coco 6:45pm in the Courtyard
November 7: All Souls/All Saints Day with tours of Jordan Court between the 9 & 11:15 services and Sunday Night Service Official Launch at 5:00pm
November 14: Family Hike – 3:00pm (Location TBD)
November 28: Advent Festival – 5:00pm
Join us at 9am in the courtyard, in-person. At this service masks are not required. If it is raining, this service will move indoors where masks are required. Don’t forget that this Sunday the clocks fall back one hour!
Or (and!) join us indoors for the 11:15 service or on the live stream at 11:15a, 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. At our 11:15 service, masks are required.
Then, come back at 5p for the launch of our newest service, the Sunday Night Service in the courtyard.
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.
Due to the new CDC mask mandate, masks are required for all indoor gatherings regardless of vaccination status.
Due to our All Souls/All Saints potluck & the tours of Jordan Court during our Formation Hour, we will not offer any classes this week. The classes below will resume next Sunday, November 14th.
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 7:30a. Contact Kate Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org to join that Zoom call.
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study at 10:10 in the Common Room (and on Zoom). Contact Daniel Prechtel for the Zoom link, email@example.com
- Resurrection, Part 2 in the Parish Hall (and on Zoom)
Resurrection Class part 2 taught by the Rev. Michael Lemaire. This class begins the second part of the three part series on the resurrection. Last spring we explored the range of beliefs that were present in the pagan and Jewish community about life after death. In this second part, we will explore the resurrection as reflected in the letters of Paul. The writings of Paul predate the Gospels by 20-40 years and are the earliest articulation of the Christian understanding of resurrection. By exploring Paul’s conversion, his early teaching in 1 Thessalonians and 1 Corinthians and his late in life reflection in 2 Corinthians, we will try to understand what the early Christian community understood happened to Jesus, what that meant for those who followed him, and how those beliefs evolved through time. Please feel free to join us for one or more of the classes as you are able. The class will meet in the Parish Hall at 10:10a, October 24, 31, November 14 & November 21 and on Zoom (click here). All are welcome (even if you didn’t catch part 1!).
Children, Family & Youth News
No Sunday School this week, as we are celebrating All Saints/All Souls Day!
This Friday, join us for a Family Movie Night in the Courtyard! Bundle up and bring your own beverage of choice (popcorn will be provided!) and enjoy Pixar’a Coco!
Typically, Sunday School meets on Sundays at 10:10am for children in Pre-K through 5th grade, this will resume next Sunday, November 14th. Read the Family Bulletin for more information! If you’d like to receive updates about this, but do not subscribe to the Family Bulletin, please email Maggie Foote (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Youth Group continues Wednesday, November 10th at 7:00pm! No Office Hours this week! If you are (or have) a young person between 6-12 grade, and are not a part of the google group for youth group updates, please email Maggie Foote (email@example.com) for more information and to get added to the list!
Other News & Notes
Soulcast: Our Weekly Video Announcements
You may have missed In-Gathering Sunday last Sunday, but you can still make a pledge to All Souls for the 2022 year! Head over to the Stewardship Season 2021 page on our website for more information about how to give and to find the electronic pledge card.
All Souls/All Saints Day Church Potluck
As we have done in years before, we ask you to bring a dish from a loved one who you loved, but see no longer to our Feast of Title, All Souls/All Saints Day, November 7th. We’ll have an all-church potluck between the 9 & 11:15 services, outdoors, in the courtyard. If it is raining, we will cancel the potluck.
All Souls/All Saints, Names of the Dead
This year, for All Souls/All Saints day we are collecting the names (not photos) of our loved ones who have gone on before us to create a “cloud of witnesses” in the church. Fill out this form (click here) to add names to the list.
Giving to All Souls via our mobile app
The platform we have been using for mobile app donations is changing from Give+ to Vanco Mobile Faith Engagement. You can find this (Vanco Mobile Faith Engagement) in your app store, and login with the same login you had with Give+. Once logged in, search for “All Souls Episcopal Parish” and it comes right up.
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
You can always bring food on Sundays and place it in the “Berkeley Food Pantry” basket in the Narthex (or in the courtyard for the 9am service).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
BYOC (Bring Your Own Chalice)
We’re looking to build up a store of reusable chalices so that we can stop using disposable chalices each week for the Eucharist. If you have a few small vessels around your house that you’d like to donate, please bring them and leave them on the back Narthex counter. You can watch this episode of the Soulcast to get a better idea of what we have in mind.
Rain and Air Quality Index Protocol for In-person Events
In the case of rain, the 9:00am worship will move indoors to the sanctuary.
Following the lead of local school districts, All Souls has outlined the following protocol for high Air Quality Index:
When the Air Quality Index exceeds 150, all in-person events will be canceled at the church. Due to the need to have windows open to increase ventilation for Covid-safety, it is unsafe for us to be inside the church without ventilation, and it is unsafe for the windows to be open, which leaves us with only online options.
In the case of AQI higher than 150:
- 9:00am Sunday Worship will move to Zoom at this link.
- 11:15am Sunday Worship will be Livestreamed on the All Souls Facebook Page, and the website.
- 9:00am Wednesday Worship will move to Zoom at this link.
- Adult Formation will move to Zoom at the link specified for that class.
- Sunday School will be canceled.
- Youth Group will be canceled.