From the Rector
Re-formation Once More
Since I’ve been the Rector at All Souls it seems to me that we have remade ourselves at least twice. Each re-formation of the parish took a significant amount of energy, discernment, risk, prayer, and trust. And, each time we emerged from those re-formations stronger, more flexible, and with a clearer sense of ourselves and the mission of God before us.
And as challenging as those changes were, the pressures brought upon All Souls by the various and compounding effects of COViD are more profound than anything I have experienced as a priest and congregational leader. At the risk of assessing the toll too early, as we begin to emerge from shelter-in-place and other restrictions on gathering, we are just now beginning to absorb and measure the myriad effects of this once in a generational (four generation?) experience.
You may have heard me before talk about this time in our common life as a time of great re-sorting and reckoning. Just over a year ago in this space I referenced the notion of punctuated equilibrium, an evolutionary biology theory that explains rapid changes in fossil records. There is no doubt in my mind that this has been (still is?) a time of punctuated equilibrium. And as we find our feet again, as a staff and as a Vestry, we are beginning to see how this parish has weathered the storm.
In short, this time of COViD has changed us. We have experienced losses that will be felt for years to come, and we have found new ways of being that will serve us for the road ahead. One of my learnings as a pastor of this parish was about the “churn” of this place. As in, every year, because of the transitory nature of being planted next to a university and several seminaries, there is a very high level of turnover. People come to Berkeley to learn and be formed, then they take this learning and formation elsewhere to practice it. We have experienced that this past year as in other years. Amazing young adults and young families have found new lives in West Virginia, Missouri, and Colorado.
And. Alongside those moves, we are continuing to offer our prayers and love as young adults and young families leave the Bay Area because it continues to become increasingly unaffordable to put down roots. It feels like most weeks we have been wishing Godspeed as our beloveds move to Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Virginia, Oregon (that state again), and Washington. This time of resorting offered many of these All Soulsians the opportunity to look at their situation with a new set of lenses. And many decided that it was now time to move for a greater opportunity.
A new shift in the past couple of years, though, has also been seen with some of our elders. If you own your home in the Bay Area and have grown children or other support in another part of the country, it has been an advantageous time to sell your home and move, and so several of our elders have, to Oregon (OK, this is becoming a theme), Texas, Washington and other parts of the Bay Area.
All of these leave-takings were totally understandable. And completely heart-breaking. All told, well over 40 households have left the parish in the last couple of years. These moves, combined with hesitancy about coming back to gatherings, has meant that our common life looks different than it did in 2019.
It means that once again, we will be re-forming All Souls Parish. In fact, this reformation has already begun, as new people, spurred by the Great Resorting, have started to look for a church to practice with. And, with the launch of the Sunday Night Service in a couple of weeks, we will be particularly looking to re-form with folks who have left evangelical traditions behind and are looking for a new home.
This reformation will take time. And I believe, from the depth of my being, that if we are able to continue to guide people into the transformative love of the Christ through compelling worship, insightful learning, heartfelt service, and loving community, we will be able to reform once more. There is no place or people that I’d rather give myself to this new glimpse of the Realm than with All Souls in Berkeley. Again.
From the Stewardship Team
Pledging, Celebration, Pantsapalooza
We are down to the pledging. And the celebration. And the Pantsapalooza.
This Sunday, October 24th will be In-gathering at All Souls. After four weeks of focusing on generosity and stewardship, it will be time to make an actual pledge. Physical pledge cards and an online pledge form will be available starting Sunday morning.
Melissa Devereaux, a parishioner and vestry member, will be giving her debut sermon and will then guide us through making a pledge during each service. We will then bring the pledges forth to offer our fruits to God’s work.
Then, Sunday evening, we celebrate. We are gathering in-person at Cedar and Spruce – in the courtyard if it’s dry and in the Parish Hall if it’s not – to celebrate the In-gathering. We will have heavy appetizers, pizza for kids and youth, liquid refreshments and a chance to be together. If you are nearby, come join us, starting at 5:00 p.m. If you could RSVP (here) just to give us a sense of the group, that would be great, but it is not a requirement.
Soon after 6:00, we will have some cookies and cakes and then adjourn to the church for some parish-wide games. To play the games, we will be using the same technology we tried in the Stewardship Kickoff, so be sure to bring your cell phones and your deep knowledge of All Souls and its parishioners.
And then, the First Annual All Souls Pledge Pantsapalooza begins. I will be wearing my prized Our Lady of Guadalupe pants and I am inviting everyone to wear the wildest and craziest pants you have. They may be laying in the back of your closet; you may be wearing them right now; they may be waiting for you at a thrift store. But find and wear some madcap, zany pants to help liven up the celebration.
To conclude the evening, we will have a (voluntary) competition, a “Pantsapalooza”, to honor the craziest pants. The audience will vote to determine the winner of the soon to be coveted “Craziest Pants” award and the fabulous prizes that come with it.
In the meantime, as you consider your pledge, if you need a recap of the Kickoff presentation, to listen to sermons from the past month or anything else connected to the Stewardship Campaign, it is all available here. The pledge form will be available there early Sunday morning.
I hope to see you at the 9:00 or 11:15 service on Sunday morning.
And I hope you will join us Sunday evening at 5:00. Wearing some crazy pants.
Rain Out at 9:00am worship
The forecast is calling for a 100% chance of rain (praise!) this Sunday, October 24th, which means that our 9:00am service will meet indoors in the sanctuary. Masks will be required, but otherwise it will be just like the courtyard service. As a reminder, here is the current protocol at All Souls for rain and unhealthy Air Quality Index:
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.
Save the Dates
(*see “Other News and Notes” for more info on events)
October 24: All-Church Stewardship Celebration
October 31: Halloween Festivities and Trick-or-Treat at All Souls
November 5: Family Movie Night – Coco
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
Join us at 9am in the courtyard, in-person. At this service masks are not required.
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.
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.
Adult Formation Class this Sunday:
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 7:30a. Contact Kate Murphy, email@example.com 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Resurrection, Part 2 in the Parish Hall (and on Zoom)
- A Practice of Prayer in the Chapel (and on Zoom)
New Adult Formation class begins this Sunday! Resurrection Class part 2 taught by the Rev. Michael Lemaire.
This Sunday 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
Sunday School meets on Sundays at 10:10am for children in Pre-K through 5th grade! 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 (email@example.com) for more information.
Youth Group continues Wednesday, October 27th at 7:00pm! Also, each Sunday at 10:10am, stop by Maggie’s office for a donut and a check-in with one of our youth leaders. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information and to get added to the list!
Other News & Notes
Soulcast: Our Weekly Video Announcements
Check out Season 4: Episode 14 of the Soulcast!
This Sunday, October 24th, where everyone will have the opportunity to offer their pledge for the year during the services. Check out the Stewardship 2021 button on our homepage for more information about why we give to All Souls and some helpful tools on how to decide how much to give. Pledge cards will be available on Sunday both in person and online. Come back out at 5p for our Stewardship Celebration and our first annual Pantsapalooza Competition (come wearing your craziest pants)! Heavy appetizers & drinks, and food for youth and kids will be provided.
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.
Halloween at All Souls!
On Halloween, the All Souls young adult crew will be hosting a gathering at 5pm in the church courtyard to carve pumpkins, before handing out candy to local trick-or-treaters from 6-8. We will have some pumpkins and candy, but would encourage you to bring a pumpkin to carve, candy to pass-out, or goodies to share. Pizza will be provided, and we will watch Hocus Pocus to get in the Halloween spirit. All are welcome, and parents, we would love to see your kids’ costumes! Contact Lorena for more information!
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 (email@example.com) or Stephen Ministry Leader Madeline Feely (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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 email@example.com.
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.
Spaghetti Again Men’s Dinner
This coming Monday evening is our next Spaghetti Again Men’s dinner at 6p. Contact Bob Cross for more information and to join (firstname.lastname@example.org).