From the Rector
Linger at the Table
After our recent parish retreat I received some really illuminating feedback from several of our participants. They had enjoyed the theme on the Stories That Make Us, had found the Bishop’s Ranch to be a beautiful and welcoming space with delicious food, but what was most important for them was what happened between the meals and the program. What stitched the retreat together for them was time spent in conversation.
Their longing was met in the conversation over a meal, but especially the conversation after the meal, when the dishes have been cleared and the conversation continued. It was found after the social hour on a bench overlooking the Dry Creek Valley, sharing about each other’s lives. It was experienced in a cup of tea in one of the Adirondack chairs outside the Chapel. One of the common refrains that I heard was that this kind of conversation hadn’t happened for them in years, and for some of them had never happened in the last several years since they came to be members of All Souls.
I’ve come to believe more and more that the communal effects of this pandemic continue to be too profound and not yet fully seen. Many people are feeling disconnected and lonely, yearning for intimacy and companionship. I believe that a reason for this (among many) can be found around the table. One of the most challenging aspects of the last several years in our parish life has been the inability to easily eat together. Eating together is one of our six expectations of membership at All Souls, based on Jesus’s own practice. Jesus is often seen sharing food with friends––a feast was the site of his first miracle, some of his most challenging teachings were taught at table, and a shared meal is the very ritual that has formed the downbeat of Christianity since its inception. Being able to eat together is essential to Christian practice.
One of the primary lenses that our vestry has been using this year as we re-form our parish has been a congregational development model called Sources of Transformation. The model reminds us that a primary and reliable source of transformation over centuries for Christian transformation has been conversation and food. As concerns around the virus have eased, we are now in a place to be able to linger at the table once again. And our parish life in the next couple of months offers several opportunities to share a meal and engage in real conversation.
On Sunday evening October 30th we will be joining together for our stewardship celebration dinner, with rounds set up in the Parish Hall and the courtyard and a chance to eat and talk and laugh together. Then, on Sunday, November 6th, our Feast of All Saints and All Souls, between the 9 o’clock and 11:15 services we will be continuing the feast, bringing dishes to share with one another that those we love and see no longer prepared for us. Later in the month, on November 27th, we will come together for the first Sunday of Advent (hard to believe, but true), culminating in our Advent Festival at 5p.
My guess is that the All Soulsians I spoke with about the parish retreat are not alone in their desire for conversation that lingers and so my invitation is simple. Prepare some food that you’d like to share. Sign up or show up and be present. Together we will once again feed our bodies and our souls.
From the Meal Train Ministry
The Gift of Receiving
“I used to pride myself on not needing help…of always finding a way…of being strong. Until things changed and I couldn’t. A fall. A break. A misdiagnosis. An infection. A surgery. Another surgery. Hospitals. SNF. I was pushed into submission by a force far greater than my will. Vitality and survival meant stepping into humility and grace and receiving help with an open heart. In my darkest hour, generous All Soulsians gave my son and I sustenance in the form of delicious meals and in-person visits. It is true what they say; we must care for each other. Thank you Meal Train! Thank you fabulous All Souls community!”
~Caroline (Carrie) Smith
“My first experience with a Meal Train was as a recipient. After our eldest son was born, our parish came
together to offer several weeks of meals. Meals, and parenting advice. One gem among many, “Don’t
ever become a short order cook for this child. He should eat what you are eating.”
Once our boys were older, I joined the Meals team at All Souls in order to repay a little of that nurturing
support that was so generously given to us. It is a simple act that can support a fellow All Soulsian and I
have found it deeply rewarding.
Providing a meal does not have to be difficult or complicated, and I have found it does not take much
more work than preparing our own dinner. Giving parenting advice is optional, and not recommended.
Please join us in this nourishing ministry-it is just as rewarding for those who offer the meals as it is for
those who receive them.”
To those folks currently providing meals for All Soulsians via The Meal Train -THANK YOU! If you are
interested in joining the Meal Train team , please contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 925 788-0243.
~ Cathy Goshorn
“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”
~ Maya Angelou
Reflections From Stewardship
Reflecting on how I got to where I am now on giving, I realized a formative experience was reading a 2001 bestseller called The Treasure Principle.
That was at the height of my Evangelical days, and many of you have listened to and supported me as I’ve been re-examining those complicated years of my spiritual life. Maybe because I haven’t thought about it for 21 years, this book surprisingly brings up zero drama for me. I vaguely recall it being about storing up treasures in heaven, and if treasures are in heaven, there your heart will be also, etc. The author figures, why stop at tithing 10% of your income? Why not 90%, with a joyful heart?
Ok, I was a teenager with no income, so I had no skin in this game. I was raised to be frugal, so the idea of routinely giving away actual chunks of your economic worth seemed strange to me at the time. But ever since, this idea of giving with joy, out of heavenly abundance, has reframed my idea of giving.
I’m probably never going to read The Treasure Principle again. But it’s interesting to me that I still feel good about giving, after all these years of unpacking my often cringey spiritual upbringing. I’ve had changes of heart about so many things – how to read the Bible, how to care for my neighbor, whether it’s ok for pastors to have tattoos, etc. But the joy and blessing of participating in eternal abundance is not something I’ve had to question.
Save the Dates
- October 23, Jordan Court Volunteer Training
- October 29, Parish Garden/Clean-up Day
- October 30, Ingathering Sunday + Stewardship Celebration Dinner
- November 6, All Saints/All Souls Day with potluck between services!
Join us for worship this week:
- 9am, in-person, indoors
- 11:15am, in-person, indoors. (click here to access the live stream)
- 5p, 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 Facebook 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
There are three class offerings this Sunday:
- 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 (Meeting ID: 811 8105 6561. Passcode: 516358), or join them in-person in the Common Room.
- Toil & Teleology. On October 2, 9, 16, and 23rd in the Parish Hall and on Zoom. What is work for? Why does it matter for us Christians and as a Christian community? Join Dr. Scott MacDougall and the Rev. Phil Brochard as they explore the demands of Pharaoh, vocation, statements of ultimate value, the meaning of economy, the Protestant work ethic, and what it means for each of us to labor as an element of Christian practice.
New Round of Adult Formation Classes Coming Up!
Deep Listening: Life Skills From Stephen Ministry (in-person only)
This is a three-part, interactive skills training designed to help you become a better listener in every area of your life. We’ll be using materials from Stephen Ministry to guide our conversations and interactions. Please join us as we practice offering a listening ear to one another.
In our first class (October 30), we’ll explore why listening is important and practice some key behaviors that anyone can learn and use on a daily basis. We’ll reflect on how it feels when someone really listens to us – especially in an era of technology-frazzled attention spans.
Our second class (November 13) will focus on active listening skills: How is this different from just hearing someone’s words? How can listening be called an active process, when we’re letting the other person do all the talking? Again, we will discuss and practice together.
Our final class (November 20) is about reflective listening, a technique that helps the listener to stay engaged and the speaker to feel heard. We’ll practice together, and conclude by considering how we can best use our new strategies to really listen to those we encounter in our daily lives.
Are you new or relatively new to All Souls? Then you are invited to join us for our next round of our Newcomer Class. The Rev. Phil Brochard and Emily Hansen Curran will lead this four week class for folks who are looking to learn more about All Souls and what it means to be a member at All Souls. If this is you, please join us in the Common Room on October 30th, November 13th and November 20th during the Adult Formation Hour (10:10-11:10a). We’ll also offer this class via Zoom (click here to enter the call).
Children, Youth, and Family News
Sunday School Children Pre-K-Grade 5 are invited to join us in the courtyard at 10:10am for the fourth of our four week series on Animals, Monsters and Spooky Stuff in the Bible!
Youth Group continues this week! Office hours in the Youth Room at 10:10am and Youth Group meets from 7-8:30pm in the Parish Hall on Sunday.
Confirm not Conform info session this Sunday (10/23), at 10:10am in the common room. This is open to all high school students and their families.
Family Movie Night: Encanto is coming up on November 4th at 6:00pm! Save the Date!
Email Maggie for more information about Children, Youth and Family Ministries at All Souls.
Other News & Notes
Stewardship Ingathering & Celebration Dinner
Sunday, October 30th is our annual Ingathering Sunday & Celebration Dinner. Sunday morning is our ingathering, where we will get the chance to commit our pledge to the parish for 2023. Then, come back in the evening (5:30-7:30p) for dinner and a fun evening of games and laughs (honestly, you don’t want to miss this event!). RSVP through this form (click here) and then wait to hear from your table host to see what kinds of dishes will be needed for your table.
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.
All Saints/All Souls Day Potluck
November 6th is the day we will celebrate our Feast of Title, All Souls/All Saints Day. Please bring a dish to share for our potluck (which will take place between the 9 & 11:15 services in the courtyard). This year, as in years previous, please bring a dish that reminds you or was introduced to you by someone you love, but see no longer. Feel free to write up a small story or note about the dish to go along with it on the table so others can share in the love for these souls who have gone before us.
Jordan Court Volunteer Training
Are you interested in building relationships with our new neighbors over in Jordan Court? Then come out to our volunteer training on October 23rd from 1-4 in the Parish Hall. Our very own Wendy Calimag and Emily McDonald, will lead us through topics such as building an intentional community, approaching trauma when you don’t know it exists, and racism as trauma; power as privilege. This is mandatory training for anyone hoping to volunteer. Lunch will be provided, so please RSVP to the team (Cathy Goshorn, Kaki Logan, or Emily McDonald).
Emmaus Groups/Small Groups
This fall, we’re launching a new round of small groups, which we call Emmaus Groups. These are spiritual journeying groups that meet bi-weekly for 16 weeks at a time with the goal of journeying together in order to deepen our understanding of what it means to follow Jesus. They are mostly free-form(ish) and are a fabulous way to create and build community with others here at church. If you are interested, please contact Emily, email@example.com.
Save the Date – Parish Cleanup Day
Autumn is upon us, and hopefully the rainy season too. We have some work to do to prepare the All Souls Parish campus for the upcoming winter: gutter and drainage cleanout, trimming of trees and bushes, leaf raking, sweeping of the courtyard, and general cleanup of the outside of the church buildings. Please join us Saturday, October 29th for a day of rigorous outdoor work with your fellow parishioners. Start time is 9:00 am, with a break at around noon for pizza lunch (provided) and completion in the early afternoon. Bring your yard tools, gloves, and dress for outdoor work.
Contact Kaki Logan (Landscaping Sub-Committee Chair) or John Cockle and Martín Ortega (Property Maintenance Sub-Committee Co-Chairs) with ideas and/or questions.