From the Associate Rector
My church plant in Cincinnati was located in a suburb called Forest Park, which is a largely residential, working-class neighborhood. The church building itself was situated on a large piece of property on the corner of two residential streets. Long story short, a LOT of trick-or-treaters passed by Espíritu Santo every year on Halloween.
I decided on my second Halloween as the priest of that community that I needed to see what the Halloween scene there was like, so I called up my Episcopal Service Corps intern, Alex, and I told her, “we’re giving out candy, don’t make plans for Halloween.”
On the night of Trick-or-Treating, it was terribly cold, so we decided to pull our fire pit to the end of the driveway, set a fire, make hot chocolate, and roast marshmallows while we handed out candy to the neighborhood kids. I donned a pizza costume, while Alex dressed as a donut, and we bundled up for the evening.
Of course families from our own community stopped by on their way to their regular routes to get some candy and show us their costumes, but most of who we saw that night were kids and families from the neighborhood surrounding our church building. As goblins and ghouls, and super heroes and athletes passed by for a cup of hot chocolate or to warm up by the fire, we got to know them a little bit, and learned more about the people who lived in our neighborhood.
I specifically remember three young women, middle schoolers, who were sisters that lived down the street. They told us that they didn’t even know that anyone used our building or that there was a church there. We told them about the after school Homework Club, and some of the other activities that we offered. The following week, they started coming to the Homework Club to get help with their homework, and became a part of our community.
The point here is that churches, in addition to being houses of worship, are also resources and assets to a local community. Often, people in our own neighborhoods don’t even know who we are or that there are real people inside our mysterious buildings. When we participate in the life of the community, we offer a glimpse of ourselves to the people who live nearby, and we make it that much easier for them to take that first, trepidatious step toward engagement with the church.
Now, this may never translate to people coming to church on a Sunday morning, but what it can offer is a sign of good faith to our neighbors that we’re here, we’re part of this community, and we want to have a relationship with them.
So, this Sunday, October 31st, the young adult crew of All Souls will be in the courtyard, enjoying a Halloween movie, carving pumpkins, and passing out candy to our neighbors. We invite you to join us. We’ll be there from 5-8pm, so stop by if you’re in the area and show us your costume, or stay a while and help us pass out candy to local trick-or-treaters.
We’d love to see you!
From the Vestry
Summary of October Meeting
The vestry met on Wednesday, 10/20 and the evening was filled with guest speakers, pertinent updates and one breaking bombshell. An update on the Stewardship Campaign showed that after many hours of strong planning by Richard Lynch and crew, things were moving along well; unfortunately, a curve ball was thrown on the actual ingathering day when the big storm cancelled what promised to be a lively and entertaining gathering.
Fr. Phil spoke on the state of the parish—the good, the bad and the ugly. The church is currently in a rebuilding phase, with approximately 40 households moving away during the pandemic, 20 new members joining and a new evening service about to officially launch on Nov. 7th . In the meantime, formation attendance has been about 80-90% of “normal”, the children are starting back in Sunday School and the youth group is slowing growing.
Exciting developments are happening on the corner with Jordan Court about to open with a tentative open house for parishioners planned on Nov. 7th and a move-in date for the parish offices on Dec. 1st . More signs of growth include the re-activation of the Capital Campaign, which was just about to launch in March, 2020 when everything shut down.
Vimala Tharisayi reported on behalf of the Finance Committee, which has been carefully preparing for the 2022 budget, which circles back to the Stewardship Campaign above. And the breaking bombshell?
Long-time faithful vestry member Howard Perdue regretfully announced his decision to give up his seat due to personal reasons. He will be greatly missed by his colleagues who ushered him out with a round of applause.
Save the Dates
(*see “Other News and Notes” for more info on events)
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
November 14: Family Hike – 3:00pm (Location TBD)
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.
We have three class offerings this Sunday:
- 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
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Youth Group continues Wednesday, November 3rd 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 (email@example.com) for more information and to get added to the list!
Other News & Notes
Soulcast: Our Weekly Video Announcements
Check out Season 4: Episode 15 of the Soulcast!
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!
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.
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 (email@example.com).
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.