From the Stewardship Team
Praise and Thanksgiving
This Sunday, October 23rd, each of us will be asked to make our pledge of financial support for 2017 during the worship service. This is new for All Souls; it may be uncomfortable for some souls. As chair of the Stewardship Team, I have done enough research and reading on financial stewardship in the church to know this is a practice that has been meaningful in many congregations. But until recently, I was just a little bit uncertain about it. Two weeks ago my uncertainty changed into confidence.
I had the opportunity to talk with Aaron Klinefelter, one of our seminarians, as he prepared his sermon for Sunday October 9th. When we met, I listened to Aaron read the Gospel passage for that week, and I realized that pledging to All Souls, when engaged as a response to God’s generous love in our lives, is an act of praise and thanksgiving – in other words, pledging can be a faithful act of worship.
In case you do not recall the Gospel from October 9th, it was Luke 17:11 – 19.
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ When he saw them, he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him, ‘Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.’
The Samaritan, the foreigner, praises God with a loud voice, prostrates himself at Jesus’ feet, and thanks Jesus for making him clean. Jesus names these actions as expressions of the Samaritan’s faith. Praise and thanksgiving are fundamental to our liturgy. We begin our services with songs of praise and we gather around the table for the Great Thanksgiving – our Holy Eucharist. This is worship.
In prior years, I did not think of my pledge as worship; but I certainly experienced it as an act of faith. I have a deep sense of commitment to God’s work at All Souls, a belief that all that we do, in worship, prayer, service, and formation is directed toward Christ. I am free to choose what to do with the gifts God has bestowed upon me, and I choose to give a significant proportion of my financial resources back both through a pledge to All Souls and as contributions to other efforts for justice and peace.
Two members of our congregation have already committed to gifts totaling $48,000 for 2017. These gifts are a response to God’s love and generosity, offered for Christ’s work, which is our work, here in Berkeley and in the world. These generous gifts are acts of worship and of faith. I hope you will join us as we worship together this Sunday, offering our praise and thanksgiving to God, and pledging to continue God’s work here at All Souls.
From the Rector
From the Editor:
Phil often writes something for this time of year about giving, but this year he filed this dispatch instead.
New Adult Formation Classes
A new session of classes begins this Sunday at 10:10, continuing through November 20th. We won’t have class on All Saints Sunday, November 6. The new offerings are:
From the Cloister to the Streets: Saints & Activists
Four speakers present what it means to be a saint and/or an activist. We will explore some “definitions” of sainthood, historical saints, and modern activism. The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, The Rev. Dr. Daniel Prechtel, Alan Schut, and Laura Eberly. (Parish Hall)
Stories of All Souls
An introduction to All Souls course taught by the rector Fr. Phil Brochard explores how we make church together (both as a parish and as Episcopalians): our place in Christian history and polity, our view of scripture and its interpretation, the role of sermons and music in liturgy, our creeds and communal prayers, the importance of the Eucharist, the meaning of membership and the importance of giving, and much more. (Common Room)
Reading Between the Lines: Lectionary-based Bible Study
Join us as we study one of the texts for the following Sunday in a lectionary-based Bible study designed for small groups. We meet in the Common Room right after the 7:30 am service, in the Chapel during the 10:10 formation hour, or on Thursdays at 11 am in the Common Room. On-going class; drop-in, occasional attendees welcome.
BEGINNING NEXT SUNDAY:
The Praying Life
A three-week series about prayer, led by The Rev. Michael Lemaire, explores assumptions and expectations that we bring to our prayer life. Many of us carry a lifelong sense that our prayer life is not what it could or should be. We carry images of God, of ourselves, and of prayer that served us at an earlier time of life, but those images eventually constrain our spiritual journey. We will attempt to name, describe, and if needed reshape these images in the service of reinvigorating our prayer life. (Parish House, across the parking lot)
Welcome our guest preacher!
This Sunday, the Rev. Stephen Crippen will be joining us at all three services as our guest preacher. He is coming to us from Seattle, Washington, where he serves as a deacon at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Stephen travels all over the West Coast to work with congregations in various phases of their life, both teaching with the College for Congregational Development and as a consultant. He was just in Sitka, Alaska as a keynoter at their diocesan convention. A former church organist, Stephen now works as a therapist. He has two dogs that he treats like royalty, is remarkably committed to being fit, and has a fabulous and growing tattoo of Jonah and the whale. Stephen is one of the most dynamic and compelling teachers that Phil and Liz have encountered in the church. His word is not to be missed!
Adjust your route…
Sunday Streets Berkeley opens Shattuck Ave from Rose to Haste to people this Sunday… but will be closed to cars. It may take a little longer to make your way to church!
ALL SOULS FAMILIES!
ALL SOLES NEXT WEEK AND MORE!
Runners, try changing up your pace next Sunday, October 30! Plan to worship at the 9:00 am service and then join other All Souls runners for a fun run after your favorite formation class. Meet at 11:15 in the courtyard and we’ll set out together for a variable length and pace run. And who is running in the Berkeley Half on November 20? Believe it or not, there is time to run and still make it to the 11:15 service! There will be a contingent of All Soulsians (Solesians) of all ages running and cheering and celebrating again together this year. Talk to Emily Hansen Curran, Jeannie Koops-Elson, or Kim Velasquez to make plans.
HANG OUT WITH THE GUYS AT SPAGHETTI AGAIN
Men’s Fellowship Dinner October 31
All Souls men gathers on the last Monday of each month for dinner (at a shared cost) and informal conversations beginning at 6:00 pm. Sign up sheet on the bulletin board by the parish hall doors. Contact Ross Laverty at 510-526-5394 or by email to find out why they never actually eat spaghetti.
All Saints Sunday, November 6th: Commemoration of the Faithful Departed
We will remember loved ones in prayer at the services on November 6th, All Saints Sunday. To have the names of your departed loved ones remembered, please legibly print the name(s) on the form attached to the clipboard in the chapel or narthex or email Joy with the information. Please note that names of those who have died since All Saints Sunday 2015 will be read aloud (taken from our prayer lists); all other names will be listed in the bulletin. There will be incense at the 11:15 am service only.