All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago

Keeping our Eyes on Jerusalem

The Rev. Fran Holliday
Sunday June 30, 2013
All Saints’ 8,9 and 11:00 a.m. services
Luke 9:51-62

“When the days drew near for Jesus to be taken up, He set his sights on Jerusalem.”

Jesus was on a mission.

He was determined.

He knew what he was about, he knew where he was going.

“He set his sights on Jerusalem.”

Jesus was on his way to the cross, the grave and, ultimately, to resurrection glory. That was his purpose and nothing was going to stop Him from fulfilling the redemptive work of God in the world.

Let’s take a quick look at his ministry again.

Right from the start Jesus’ actions drew criticisms from even those who knew him—and yet he continued on. Luke’s Gospel tell us that while Jesus was in the synagogue in his home town He angered people so much while preaching a message of inclusion, that he was driven out and almost hurled off of a cliff. But he moved on to Capernaum and continued his Ministry.

He was undeterred.

Jesus worked steadfastly to include those on the margins of society, the untouchables, the seemingly unlovable. He was always dinning with the outcasts, tax collectors  and undesirables. He was a boundary breaker, and he continued on despite the deeply rooted social norms and pressures of his day.

Remember when he spoke to the Samaritan woman, at the well, something no self respecting Jew would ever do? Jesus was always turning heads. Jesus taught that showing justice, mercy and compassion were paramount to following the ways of God. He did this repeatedly in the face of great opposition. In the synagogue on the Sabbath he cured a man with a withered hand and cast out demons. He would stop at nothing despite the fact that these actions were in direct opposition to the law and drew increasingly hostile reactions.

Jesus was unwavering in his ministry of inclusion, and love for all people especially toward those who could not care for themselves, the widow, the child, the sick and the hungry. He was moved with compassion to act time and again on behalf of the powerless, and he wanted those around him, most especially those in power to do the same.

For those who wanted to follow Jesus then and those of us who struggle to follow him now, we are reminded in today’s gospel that this ministry—to transform the world into a world of justice and mercy, has a cost.

For Jesus it was going to Jerusalem. He literally gave his life for this. There are of course the usual stellar examples of individuals who have followed the call and have done this in a very literal way, for instance  Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela who was jailed for twenty six years of his life. However each one of us is called to this ministry. But we have to decide if we’re going to make that unwavering commitment. We have to decided if we’re going to keep our eyes on Jerusalem.

This week President Obama traveled with his family to Goree Island which is off the cost of Darkar Senegal. There they visited a small slave house where men, women and children were shackled, weighed and traded before being sent across the Atlantic. As President Obama stood in the doorway, of the house called, “The Door of no Return” He said, “I think more than anything what it reminds us of is that we have to remain vigilant when it comes to the defense of people’s human rights, because I am a firm believer that humanity is basically good, but it’s only good when good people stand up for what is right.” ( Chicago Tribune, 6/27/13)

Our call is to stand up as Jesus did, for the outcasts and the marginalized. Agreeing with policies or believing that something is just or unjust  is not enough. We must stand up for it, we must work for it. There are times that we are called to take action, no matter the cost. Sometimes, we must just live it. 

This week we saw an extraordinary example of an ordinary every day person who made an unwavering commitment to justice. Edith Windsor the 84 year woman who was the plaintiff in the Defense of Marriage Act case that reached the Supreme court showed commitment and courage as she agreed to go forward with her case. She herself by her own admission has very little to gain from this case. She stated that she is in the last years of her life and she had to think twice about suing the federal government over a tax bill. She was unsure at first if she wanted to enter the fray over this issue, but once her case started through the courts she knew there was no turning back.

When asked why she did it she said, she didn’t  want the government to deem that her 44 year relationship with her partner was nothing.  But mostly she was doing it for the next generation. Edith expressed her hope that, perhaps, it will help young people feel they are not alone, maybe it will end suicides and make people realize there is nothing wrong with them.

Edith did not have to do this but she felt it was a justice issue that would touch generations to come. She kept her eyes on her Jerusalem.

Today’s gospel is a powerful reminder that we too are called to do the redemptive work of God in the world. We too are called to keep our eyes on Jerusalem.



Copyright Fran Holliday  June 2013

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Weekly Message for December 10

Weekly Message for December 10

Dear Friends,    

Tomorrow morning, Saturday the 9th, from around 10am to 2pm, I’m looking for people who might want to assist me in doing some Christmas decorating for the outside of our church building. Ahn Gallagher has graciously agreed to hang some lights in our bell tower, now I’m looking for assistance is getting lights in our oak tree out front. I’ll be able to put on my climbing saddle and rig a belay and climb the tree, but it will be much easier and way more fun if I have assistance. Right now our beautifully restored building looks GREAT in the day and kind of dark at night. I hope to fix that tomorrow. Dress warm and come join the fun!
Two Wednesdays from now, on December 20th, our evening prayer will be extended to include more silence for reflection, more music for our souls, and an opportunity for anointing. Christmas can be a very difficult time, particularly if we are in the midst of a transition or have lost someone we love. We hope to create a time and some space to acknowledge those difficult feelings and offer some solace and consolation. I invite you to take an hour to care for yourself with some prayer and music.
This Sunday I’ll be preaching, Emily will be celebrating, the children will be rehearsing our presidentially-recognized Christmas Pageant, #HamiltonmeetsJesus, and Colin and our choir will be creating seasonal music that will lift our spirits.
I look forward to seeing all of you!
All the best,
Working Against the Virus of Racism

Working Against the Virus of Racism

kellybdWe are very excited that the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas will be spending a weekend with us this fall, September 23 and 24. Kelly was formerly the Canon Theologian at our National Cathedral. In the fall she will become the first Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School, now located at Union Theological Seminary. We've invited Kelly to spend the weekend with us so that we might again return to our work on confronting racism. Kelly is an amazing preacher and theologian and we are beyond honored that she is making time in her incredibly busy schedule to be with us. Look for more details in the next few weeks on the spirituality and theology that we will be exploring together. 

In the event that you find yourself looking for some interesting summer reading, here are some books she has suggested we investigate: HomecomingThe Color of Law, and one by Kelly called Stand Your Ground. She also suggested that watching 13th on Netflix would be helpful.

Racism is an issue that we are called to confront and challenge and end. It is not something that will just die a gentle death. Our hope is that with our time with Kelly and one another, we may again return to this important work. 

All Saints' Book Club

All Saints' Book Club

midnightFall Reading List Selected

The All Saints Book Club has defined its reading list through the fall. The meetings start at 7:30 PM usually at the home of a member. The locations and further details are on our Facebook page. Here is the schedule for the next several months:

  • August 10 - "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" by John Berendt
  • September 14 - "Operation Breadbasket" by Martin Deppe (meet in the Reading Room at the church)
  • October 12 - "Saints and Villains" by Denise Giardina
  • November 9 - "The Haunting of Hill House" by Shirley Jackson
  • December 14 - Pick your own poetry book and share favorite poem(s)

For additional information, contact Mike Burke (

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 

This OLD Church

This OLD Church

This week’s stories of the bell tower: The beams and posts in the bell tower are being filled with epoxy and fungicide to prevent future insect damage and to restore their strength and integrity. Here are some photos of the work currently taking place. Everywhere you see white is where the post or beam is being rebuilt, restored and protected.
The blue hue in the photo is from the tarp surrounding the bell tower enabling Ron Young and his crew to continue working in the dropping temperatures.
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.