Two important items:
Today the link for our Congregational Assessment has gone live. Here is the link. The Congregational Assessment Tool (C.A.T.) is a survey designed to offer us insights into our congregation's mission, outreach, programing, worship, pastoral care, and financial well-being. The assessment is close to a hundred mostly multiple choice questions and will take approximately 20 minutes to complete and must be done in one sitting. I invite anyone over the age of 16 who is currently invested in the life and future of All Saints, through some combination of worship attendance, participation/leadership in ministry or education and/or offering financial support, to participate in this survey.
The results are sent directly to Holy Cow Consulting (yes that is their actual name) where they will be tabulated and analyzed. All responses are anonymous. The survey closes on Monday, February 22nd. Almost every congregation in our diocese has used this survey and has been greatly enriched by the insights it offers. I very much appreciate the time you will offer to complete it. If you have questions feel free to contact me or one of our co-wardens, Anne Cadigan or Karen Schrage.
This Sunday as I said in my rector's address, we will devote our morning to reflecting on and discussing the draft theological statement that came out of our day-long retreat on institutional racism this past September. I invite you to read and spend some time with the words that follow this introduction.
But first, let me offer a few words about our process this Sunday:
We'll have each of our three services. We will omit the sermon at each service and at the 9 and 11 o'clock worship services we'll sing short hymns! At the 8 o'clock service we anticipate completing the Eucharist by 8:30. After we finish we will adjourn for a brief few minutes to allow people to leave who may not be able to join us for conversation. Then, in the pews of the sanctuary, we'll form small groups of 5 or 6 people and begin our reflections on the theological statement using a simple conversation guide.
At the 9 o'clock worship service we should finish around 9:35, adjourn, and then reconvene at 9:40. We anticipate the conversations lasting until 10:45 or so. At the 11 o'clock service we will finish the Eucharist around 11:35, adjourn, reconvene at 11:40 and continue until 12:20.
As I note in my Rector's address, we have no illusions that we will have done anything more than simply delved deeper into the issues of institutional racism and white privilege, but this is a next step on our congregational journey in ending these nefarious societal sins.
The blood of the dead is calling us to repent for our sins of racism.
We confess that when we do nothing, we permit the neglect, abuse, and murder of our black and brown sisters and brothers.
God yearns for us to care, to act, for all to be set free.
Longing for justice, learning from history, listing to voices of truth, we vow, with God's help, to claim our responsibilities to overturn, step-by-step, systems of racial inequality.
And so we build the beloved community of God.
So that all may live.
On a lighter note, we are two weeks out from our amazing Africa/South Sudan Bake Auction. Our race conversations will cut into some of our prime time for our young people to ask all of us to bake items for this stunning event. Be prepared to sign up on a clipboard asking for baked goods before or after our racial conversation or use this link to sign up online!
Our annual meeting was, an event! If you'd like an annual report we have paper copies in the sanctuary and it is also online here. Many thanks to all of you have came, the parish hall was packed. Thanks as well to all of you who provided awesome sustenance for our time together.
The fence is down around the church and now you can see completely what we have accomplished with your generous financial gifts and the amazing work of Ron Young, Larry Dieckmann, Stephen Christy and the architects at Bauer Latoza. We have $342,198 in pledges for the South and West walls. We'll begin work on them in March!
Wishing you the best,