All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago

What Child is this?

Bonnie A. Perry

Good Evening.

Do you find yourself filled with a longing? An aching that rumbles in your brain and then settles in your gut. A visceral emptiness, that demands to be filled. Longing to be known, longing to be loved, loved as you want to be loved . Longing to be respected and included. Longing for the future, longing for the past? Longing for power, money, courage, freedom, compassion, hope. Do you find yourself filled with longing? I find myself on most days, longing for my mom, who died suddenly this past Spring, oh how she would have loved a Christmas Eve with falling snow. Do you find yourself longing for your people, the ones who really mattered who are gone from this earth?

I find Longing to be a soul searing ache that settles in for the long haul.

Have you ever seen a baby born? Been present for that moment. The pain ends abruptly, everyone bursts out laughing and then they all start crying. Because after the pain, an audacious joy circles round, enveloping, intertwining. The miracle of it all, new life, the sweat, the blood, the hope, the promise all of it fills the room as tangibly as the baby's cries.

That then is what tonight is all about; our longing and a baby being born. We have come here from far and wide. We have all come here—be it out of faith, or habit, or because we didn't want to hurt someone's feelings who asked us, regardless of why we walked through those doors we have all come here with a hope that our longing might be filled by the birth of a baby, even if it did happen more than 2000 years ago.

Be not afraid, for behold I bring you good news of great joy. For unto to you is born this day, in the city of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord...

This will be a sign to you, you will the child wrapped in bands of cloth and laying in a manger.

What child is this who laid to rest, on Mary's lap is sleeping? This, this is Christ the King.

This child, is our God, risking absolutely all to be with us, in this frequently lamentable, pain-filled world. Risking that we would care for him. This child, this baby is our God, who knows exactly what it is like to lose someone he desperately loves. This child, this baby is our God who knows what it means to be lied to and betrayed. This child is our God, who knows the pain of not being welcome, not being loved, not being taken seriously. This child, this baby is our God, who knows what it means to be us, in all of our raw, woundedness.

We know of our longings, what then of God's longings.

What Child is this who laid to rest on Mary's lap is sleeping? This, this is Christ the king.

Christ, the king, our God, whose longing for us matches over again all of the longings we may ever have. God longs for us, yearns for us. Yearns to be with us, to hold us and heal us. There is something about this night, that touches everyone. Something about this night that offers hope in a way we feel no other evening. This hope is God's longing to fill the spaces in our souls that ache, soothe our synapses. God hungers for our wholeness and holiness.

This then is why the angels appeared to announce Christ's birth so that our longing and God's yearning could meet in a manger of hope.

They went with haste and they found Mary and Joseph and the child laying in the manger. And the shepherds made known all that had be told them. And all who heard it were amazed.

This then is Christ the king, whom shepherds guard and angels sing.


  1. This Week
  2. Services Times
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Weekly Message for January 14

Weekly Message for January 14

Dear Friends,    

I hope you can join Susan and me for dinner this Saturday, January 13, at our home (4550 N. Hermitage Ave) from 6 to 9pm. We’ll have awesome food, created by Joe and David Wernette-Harden, lots of wonderful beverages, and free childcare if that will be helpful! This annual January dinner is a great time to hear about the vestry’s plans for the upcoming year, meet new people, and have a tasty dinner at my home. Please do come!
Sunday, January 28th we’ll have our Annual Meeting at 10:00 am. At the meeting we’ll have brunch (again lots of beverages) and our annual slide show. We’ll elect vestry members and diocesan representatives, review our budget for 2018, and honor several wonderful volunteers. On that Sunday, we’ll only have an 8:00 and 9:00 worship service. There will be NO 11:00 service.  
Emily is preaching this Sunday, I’ll be celebrating and our choir and Colin will be creating some great music. Stay warm, hold your loved ones near, and reach out to everyone in need.
All my best,
Please let me know if you are interested in serving on our vestry (governing council) or being a representative of this congregation at or Diocesan Convention in November.
Bags for RCS

Bags for RCS

We're running low on paper and reusable bags for our Tuesday night pantry. Please bring us your extras! 
We will be taking donations on Tuesday evenings, M-F 9am-4pm, and on Sundays during church services. Look for the bins by the doors. Thanks for your help!

Evening Prayer at The Breakers

Evening Prayer at The Breakers

 Sundays at 2pm

breakersbibleWe are very excited to announce that every Sunday at 2:00 pm, All Saints' offers something new at the Breakers - An Evening Prayer Service! Our first event was Sunday, December 4th, and went marvelously well - we had 13 attendees! Folks are very pleased that there's a Protestant service being offered in addition to the current choices (which are Catholic and Moody Bible.) The Prayer Service itself is printed in large print and in bulletin style with scripture taken each week from the Common Lectionary.

The weekly service starts at 2:00 pm, upstairs on the second floor Meditation Room, and lasts about 15 minutes. Please contact Paul Mallatt if you have questions, or comments at 773-860-4649. When you can, stop by the Breakers (5333 N Sheridan Rd) where the parking is free (for 2 hours), the coffee is hot, and the folks are friendly!


Community Kitchen Volunteers Needed

Community Kitchen Volunteers Needed

Tuesdays 6:15-8:00pm 

RCS is looking for help serving and cleaning up after dinner on Tuesdays from 6:15-8:00pm.

If you're able to volunteer, contact Emily or Operations Manager Parker Callahan, or call 773-769-0282.

New Opportunity: Hospitality Ministry

New Opportunity: Hospitality Ministry

helloDo you feel called to create an open, welcoming, hospitable environment at All Saints? Do you like meeting and connecting with people? Join the new Hospitality Ministry! Members of the Hospitality Ministry will help the clergy and vestry create a welcoming culture by greeting new members, engaging new faces at coffee hour, and helping connect new members of All Saints with our various programs.

Interested? Contact Diane Doran or Michelle Mayes. Include "Hospitality Ministry" in the subject line.

Join Our Member Directory!

Join Our Member Directory!

Our new Associate Rector, Emily Williams Guffey, is enjoying getting to know everyone in our congregation. Help her put names and faces together by adding yourself to our online directory!

If you are a member of All Saints' and haven't already registered for the directory, please contact our resident web guru Jim Crandall at and he will send a user name, password, and instructions.

Love on a Plate

Love on a Plate

Join the All Saints' Care Ministry! 

casseroleThe Care Ministry at All Saints' is a quiet one, simply providing meals after a new baby arrives, after surgery, during an illness. Because when life gets complicated, dinner is often the last thing on our minds--but sometimes a meal and visit from a friend is exactly what we need!

If you can provide a meal, give someone a ride, or run an errand once in awhile, please email You'll be contacted when a need arises and you can sign up to help at your convenience.


Donate to The 1883 Project

Donate to The 1883 Project

Please consider supporting the restoration project of our historic building. To make a donation, click here

1883 Construction web 

Fixing This Old Church

Fixing This Old Church

Here is a collection of photos of the progress of our 1883 Project. Here is a collection of bell tower photos. Check back often for updates.

Sunday Service Times

8:00 am Inclusive Language Eucharist
9:00 am Holy Eucharist with Choir
10:00 am Children's Church School
10:00 am Coffee Hour
11:00 am Holy Eucharist with Choir


Contact Us

4550 N. Hermitage in Chicago, IL 60640 (Directions)

Phone (773) 561-0111


Information about pastoral care.



Bonnie on Huffington Post

Occasionally Bonnie's sermons are published on the Huffington Post. Here are some links.

Pain. Change. Hope.

November 15, 2015

What Does St. Francis of Assisi Have to Say to Us Today?

October 4, 2015

Wake Up Calls

September 6, 2015

Christmas Reminds Us That We, Like God, Are Human, Too

December 24, 2014

The Deep Sleep of Racial Oblivion: One Pastor's Sin of Omission

November 30, 2014

Pulpit Swap

The Pulpit Swap between St Thomas and All Saints is part of our ongoing effort to bring our parishes closer together as we engage in a conversation about systemic racism and how we can work together to forge new possibilities and outcomes.

Going Home—Changed

Pulpit Swap Sermon By The Rev Bonnie Perry of All Saints Episcopal Church on October 16, 2016.  

When Prayers Go Unanswered

Pulpit Swap Sermon By The Rev Dr Fulton L Porter celebrating at All Saints Episcopal Church on Oct16 2016.