From the Rector
Rest and Healing, Together
In a compelling essay this past June, Esfahani Smith, a doctoral student in clinical psychology, wrote about the healing power of redemptive stories. In the essay she cites research that shows that the stories we tell, about ourselves and our lives, have great effect on the wholeness that we experience. In time the redemptive stories we tell lead to greater health. And, this seems to be the case even as we experience trauma. Studies are showing that, given the right support and structure, when we are able to talk about the traumas of our lives, we are able to heal from them.
When our Associate for Ministry Development, Emily Hansen Curran, read this essay this summer, she had a sense that it could be right for the moment that we are in, and particularly for our Parish Retreat this year. Jeannie Koops-Elson and Tim Ereneta, two All Soulsians well-versed in stories and story-telling were then recruited to lead us. So, in a couple of weeks, at the Bishop’s Ranch in Healdsburg, CA (a conference center of the Episcopal Church), scores of All Soulsians will be gathering to rest and tell stories with each other.
For those of you who may be wondering, YES, there still is space. And I want to personally encourage you to register, right here. If you are concerned about Covid safety, know that much of the communal portions of this retreat will be out of doors, where risks of transmission are much, much less. You can eat your meals outside on the deck of the Refrectory or under the tent next door, our program will be outside, along with our Sunday morning liturgy.
Also, know that All Souls and the Bishop’s Ranch are committed to helping people financially so that as many as wish to retreat with us are able. There are partnership funds set aside both at All Souls and at the Ranch for this very reason. Please reach out to Emily Hansen Curran if that would help you attend.
It is hard to fully describe the feeling of rest and connection and wholeness that often happens on our Parish Retreat at the Ranch. Emily talked a bit this past Sunday about the pool––it is an amazing pool. And it stands in for what so many over the years have found, a place where kids, youth, and adults can be together, in free play and deep conversation for a couple of days. It can feel like Abraham Heschel’s definition of the Sabbath, “a cathedral of time.”
I realize that attending the retreat may not be possible for all this year. For those who are wondering if you can make it work, especially if you haven’t been before, we want to help you come and rest and heal. And for all of us, I hope that this moment in time can begin to serve as an opportunity to tell the stories of our lives in this past year––what has been hard, what has been hopeful, and how we, together, have made it through.
From the Archives
Buildings of All Souls
Before there was a church at All Souls, there was a Sunday School. In 1881, Weldon L. Hanscom, his wife and six children, came from Oregon and bought the house at 1525 Walnut Street, which house is still standing. Mrs. Louise Hanscom’s father, Mr. Hyde, started a Sunday School in the double parlors of the house, which grew until larger quarters were secured on Vine Street, between Walnut Street and Shattuck Avenue. We do not know the date Mr. Hyde started the Sunday school, but as the number of Episcopal families living north of the university campus grew, two other families began to hold Sunday School classes for children in their homes as well. Starting with ten boys (and apparently no girls), Sunday School classes were held at the Osborn home on Shattuck, the Hanscom home on Walnut, and Professor John Galen Howard’s home on Ridge Road (the present site of CDSP). Sometime in the early years of the century, the Reverend Edward Lambe Parsons, rector of St. Mark’s, sent the Rev. W. R. H. Hodgkin, then a deacon, to help with the new Sunday School.
The Sunday School grew and soon a larger space was required to handle the growing numbers. Professor Howard, the University of California’s architect, prepared plans for a new building, and Mrs. Louise W. B. Kellogg, widow of Martin Kellogg, president of the University of California in the 1890’s, donated land at the corner of Spruce and Cedar Streets, on which a “Guild Hall” was built, financed by individual subscriptions from parishioners of St. Mark’s. The Guild Hall soon became known as All Souls’ Chapel. On Easter Sunday, April 15, 1906, three days before the great San Francisco earthquake, the Reverend W. R. H. Hodgkin, now ordained a priest, was installed as vicar of All Souls Chapel. Many refugees from the 1906 earthquake and fire fled to the east bay, and some remained to build new homes in north Berkeley. As more families moved onto the land north of the University campus, a larger chapel building became necessary. A new chapel (the old church building) was designed by Percy R. M. Jenkin, who served for many years as the Sunday School superintendent. The new chapel was completed in time for Christmas services 1907. All Souls received its first episcopal visit from the Right Reverend William Ford Nichols, Bishop of California, during that Christmastide. As before, funds for building were raised from individual subscriptions from members of St. Mark’s, of which All Souls’ Chapel was mission.
The original old church was a weathered brown shingle designed to blend with the brown hillside. The newspaper report at the time described the building as “one of the most artistic edifices in Berkeley”. [Later, after the great north Berkeley fire of 1923, the brown shingles were replaced with a light stucco, which had become the exterior of choice for buildings in the area.] Following a successful three year campaign to clear the debt for the new building, the chapel was consecrated by Bishop Nichols on October 27, 1912, and parishioners of St. Mark’s who lived north of Hearst were encouraged to attend All Souls’ chapel, rather than making Sunday church attendance an all- day affair of packing a lunch and traveling by foot or carriage to St. Mark’s for the eleven o’clock service.
Thomas Burcham, Parish Archivist
Worldwide Church Leaders on Climate Change
A Joint Message for the Protection of Creation
For more than a year, we have all experienced the devastating effects of a global pandemic—all of us, whether poor or wealthy, weak or strong. Some were more protected or vulnerable than others, but the rapidly-spreading infection meant that we have depended on each other in our efforts to stay safe. We realised that, in facing this worldwide calamity, no one is safe until everyone is safe, that our actions really do affect one another, and that what we do today affects what happens tomorrow.
These are not new lessons, but we have had to face them anew. May we not waste this moment. We must decide what kind of world we want to leave to future generations. God mandates: ‘Choose life, so that you and your children might live’ (Dt 30:19). We must choose to live differently; we must choose life.
September is celebrated by many Christians as the Season of Creation, an opportunity to pray and care for God’s creation. As world leaders prepare to meet in November at Glasgow to deliberate on the future of our planet, we pray for them and consider what the choices we must all make. Accordingly, as leaders of our Churches, we call on everyone, whatever their belief or worldview, to endeavour to listen to the cry of the earth and of people who are poor, examining their behaviour and pledging meaningful sacrifices for the sake of the earth which God has given us.
The Importance of Sustainability
In our common Christian tradition, the Scriptures and the Saints provide illuminating perspectives for comprehending both the realities of the present and the promise of something larger than what we see in the moment. The concept of stewardship—of individual and collective responsibility for our God-given endowment—presents a vital starting-point for social, economic and environmental sustainability. In the New Testament, we read of the rich and foolish man who stores great wealth of grain while forgetting about his finite end (Lk 12.13–21). We learn of the prodigal son who takes his inheritance early, only to squander it and end up hungry (Lk 15.11–32). We are cautioned against adopting short term and seemingly inexpensive options of building on sand, instead of building on rock for our common home to withstand storms (Mt 7.24–27). These stories invite us to adopt a broader outlook and recognise our place in the extended story of humanity.
But we have taken the opposite direction. We have maximised our own interest at the expense of future generations. By concentrating on our wealth, we find that long-term assets, including the bounty of nature, are depleted for short-term advantage. Technology has unfolded new possibilities for progress but also for accumulating unrestrained wealth, and many of us behave in ways which demonstrate little concern for other people or the limits of the planet. Nature is resilient, yet delicate. We are already witnessing the consequences of our refusal to protect and preserve it (Gn 2.15). Now, in this moment, we have an opportunity to repent, to turn around in resolve, to head in the opposite direction. We must pursue generosity and fairness in the ways that we live, work and use money, instead of selfish gain.
The Impact on People Living with Poverty
The current climate crisis speaks volumes about who we are and how we view and treat God’s creation. We stand before a harsh justice: biodiversity loss, environmental degradation and climate change are the inevitable consequences of our actions, since we have greedily consumed more of the earth’s resources than the planet can endure. But we also face a profound injustice: the people bearing the most catastrophic consequences of these abuses are the poorest on the planet and have been the least responsible for causing them. We serve a God of justice, who delights in creation and creates every person in God’s image, but also hears the cry of people who are poor. Accordingly, there is an innate call within us to respond with anguish when we see such devastating injustice.
Today, we are paying the price. The extreme weather and natural disasters of recent months reveal afresh to us with great force and at great human cost that climate change is not only a future challenge, but an immediate and urgent matter of survival. Widespread floods, fires and droughts threaten entire continents. Sea levels rise, forcing whole communities to relocate; cyclones devastate entire regions, ruining lives and livelihoods. Water has become scarce and food supplies insecure, causing conflict and displacement for millions of people. We have already seen this in places where people rely on small scale agricultural holdings. Today we see it in more industrialised countries where even sophisticated infrastructure cannot completely prevent extraordinary destruction.
Tomorrow could be worse. Today’s children and teenagers will face catastrophic consequences unless we take responsibility now, as ‘fellow workers with God’ (Gn 2.4–7), to sustain our world. We frequently hear from young people who understand that their futures are under threat. For their sake, we must choose to eat, travel, spend, invest and live differently, thinking not only of immediate interest and gains but also of future benefits.We repent of our generation’s sins. We stand alongside our younger sisters and brothers throughout the world in committed prayer and dedicated action for a future which corresponds ever more to the promises of God.
The Imperative of Cooperation
Over the course of the pandemic, we have learned how vulnerable we are. Our social systems frayed, and we found that we cannot control everything. We must acknowledge that the ways we use money and organize our societies have not benefited everyone. We find ourselves weak and anxious, submersed in a series of crises; health, environmental, food, economic and social, which are all deeply interconnected.
These crises present us with a choice. We are in a unique position either to address them with shortsightedness and profiteering or seize this as an opportunity for conversion and transformation. If we think of humanity as a family and work together towards a future based on the common good, we could find ourselves living in a very different world. Together we can share a vision for life where everyone flourishes. Together we can choose to act with love, justice and mercy. Together we can walk towards a fairer and fulfilling society with those who are most vulnerable at the centre.
But this involves making changes. Each of us, individually, must take responsibility for the ways we use our resources. This path requires an ever-closer collaboration among all churches in their commitment to care for creation. Together, as communities, churches, cities and nations, we must change route and discover new ways of working together to break down the traditional barriers between peoples, to stop competing for resources and start collaborating.
To those with more far-reaching responsibilities—heading administrations, running companies, employing people or investing funds—we say: choose people-centred profits; make short-term sacrifices to safeguard all our futures; become leaders in the transition to just and sustainable economies. ‘To whom much is given, much is required.’ (Lk 12:48)
This is the first time that the three of us feel compelled to address together the urgency of environmental sustainability, its impact on persistent poverty, and the importance of global cooperation. Together, on behalf of our communities, we appeal to the heart and mind of every Christian, every believer and every person of good will. We pray for our leaders who will gather in Glasgow to decide the future of our planet and its people. Again, we recall Scripture: ‘choose life, so that you and your children may live’ (Dt 30:19). Choosing life means making sacrifices and exercising self-restraint.
All of us—whoever and wherever we are—can play a part in changing our collective response to the unprecedented threat of climate change and environmental degradation.
Caring for God’s creation is a spiritual commission requiring a response of commitment. This is a critical moment. Our children’s future and the future of our common home depend on it.
1st September 2021
Save the Dates
(*see “Other News and Notes” for more info on events)
September 10, 6:30pm: All Souls outing to the Oakland A’s Game
September 17-19: Parish retreat at The Bishop’s Ranch (sign-up here!)
September 26, between the 9 & 11:15 services: Stewardship Launch
October 3, Blessing of the Animals
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
We have three class offerings this Sunday: (masks required at all groups if meeting indoors)
- Planting Churches: Why here? Why now? with Rev. Maggie Foote and Emily Hansen Curran – Class starts on August 29th and will run through September 12th during the Adult Formation hour (10:10a-11:10a) in the Parish Hall or on Zoom (click here).
- 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 @ 10:10a in the Chapel, or contact Daniel Prechtel, email@example.com, to join that Zoom call.
Adult Formation Coming up:
- September 19th: Bible study at 10:10 and Adult Formation classes at 10:10 cancelled for the retreat
- September 26th: Bible study at 10:10 and Adult Formation classes at 10:10 cancelled for the Stewardship Launch (happening the courtyard)
- October 3-17: Bible study at 10:10 in the Chapel (and on Zoom), a class called “Repairing the Breach” in the Parish Hall (and on Zoom), and a class called “A Practice of Prayer” in the Common Room (and on Zoom). More information to come!
Children, Family & Youth News
Sunday School begins September 26! 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 September 15th at 7:00pm! 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
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.
New Pathfinder Design
We’ve launched a new design for this newsletter! It’s got the same sort of material, but things are moved around a bit and the design is certainly upgraded. For you faithful Pathfinder readers, we’d love to hear what you think!
If you’re interested in joining a small group, we’re hoping to launch a few this fall! One will be a general small group, for journeying together/alongside others. The other group will be more specific: for parents who are currently raising teenagers. Look to next week’s Pathfinder for more info, but for now, if you’re interested, reach out to Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Phil’s Email spam
If you receive an email, from “Phil”, asking for money or gift cards: THIS IS NOT HIM! He will never write to you and ask for a gift card. One way to make sure it is not him, is to check the email address in the “to” field. If it is not from email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, it is NOT the real Phil.
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
In the before times, bringing a can of vegetables or a jar of peanut butter to church was the practice of many, and every few weeks all this would add up to three or four bags of groceries that I would deliver to the Berkeley Food Pantry. Obviously when in-person church services stopped, so did the influx of food. All Souls Parish made quick and creative adjustments; without missing a beat, folks had signed up to put a bag on their porch every other week for a driver to pick up and bring to the pantry. There were perhaps two dozen households contributing, and four or five drivers so that on any given Friday, between five and 10 bags of groceries were delivered to the pantry. More than a year later, we need wider participation. Drivers have had to make adjustments , and perhaps having the same folks providing the groceries every other week is not sustainable. Please consider offering a bag of groceries for pick up every other week, and/or sign up for any every other week driving shift to pick up from 5 or so households. Contact Cathy Goshorn, email@example.com.
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.
AA Groups Have Resumed
If you or someone you know is interested in AA Groups that meet here at the church, check out our calendar for the times.