All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago

The Rev. Fran Holliday
All Saints’ Episcopal Church
Sunday November 17, 2013

“For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. Be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; For I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight.”

These are the words spoken by the Prophet Isaiah, Words that proclaim hope and hold up a vision of restoration and new life for Jerusalem. In order to truly grasp the radical nature of Isaiah’s vision here I believe it is helpful to take at least a cursory look at at the context in which these verses were written and where they fall in the scheme of things.

The Book of the Prophet Isaiah is a collection of Hebrew writings which scholars often divide into three different books. The first book of Isaiah is believed to have been written by Isaiah of Jerusalem in the second half of the eight century B.C. E. This book contains the Prophets call story and is punctuated by the “Judgment oracles” against Judah and Jerusalem for their unfaithfulness to God.

Second Isaiah, is written by a an anonymous poet in the 6th century and it captures the period when the Israelites were in exile in Babylon. Babylon is about to fall and the author writes with great anticipation and hope that exiled Judah can return to Palestine.

The final book” Isaiah Three” also written in the sixth century by an anonymous author contains the verses we just heard. This book concerns itself with the return of the exiles and the restoration of Jerusalem. Babylon has fallen, Persia is now in power and they are allowing those in exile to return home. However home is not the same. Those who return find it fraught with challenges. Foreigners have moved in and now occupy their land. Life is hard The land is desolate, food and resources are scarce. The temple is destroyed. Everything lay in ruins.

It is here in the midst of this despair and desolation as they stand in the smoldering rubble, that the word of the prophet breaks in and calls forth a new reality. Remember the Prophets don’t predict the future rather they speak on God’s behalf about what God is doing now. “For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth.”

This is not a promise about what is to come but a declaration by God that God is rebuilding Jerusalem into something new and the foundation for this new creation is the broken shattered remnants of their former city and their upended devastated lives. The radical vision of restoration that lies in this final book of Isaiah is not just that God will restore the Israelites but that God will do it with the very stuff of their current reality. God will gather up the shattered rubble, the parched land and their broken dreams to form and to create new life. It is here amongst the desolation and wreckage that God can and will create something new.

It is not a restoration of their former life- It is an entirely new creation. The creation of something new out of rubble is more familiar and tangible to us when we are talking about physical structures. We can visibly see what has been rebuilt in New Orleans, and what physically needs to be recreated in the Philippines. But how do you rebuild and recreate new life in the midst of personal loss, and emotional devastation? How do you rise up from the rubble of personal tragedy?

It does not seem logical that one would or could create something new on the bedrock of total devastation and yet there are people who miraculously accomplish this and when they do it reminds us That with God All things are possible. One stunning example of this is a woman named Jeanne Bishop. Some of you may know her story as it has been in the news over the years.

Bishop is a Cook County public defender. She fought against the death penalty here in Illinois for many years. Her commitment to transforming the justice system has always been fueled by her deep seated Christian faith. Her commitment to the cause became deeply personal in 1990 when her sister Nancy, brother law Richard and their unborn child were senselessly murdered in their Winnetka home.

An intruder entered their home and waited for them. He then took them to the basement and shot them both. Bishop’s sister Nancy scrawled a heart and a U in her Own blood as she lay dying on that basement floor. Bishop said in a 2011 Chicago Tribune article, That, “This was a sign that her sister was thinking about love, in her dying moments and not about revenge.” It was one of the things that helped her to transform her anger into forgiveness.

This tragic turn of events not only strengthened her opposition to the death penalty it also plunged her into a personal faith journey where she began to live out in a very real way what she calls “radical forgiveness.” She had always felt that the killer David Biro should live because He was after all another human being, He was “somebody’s son,” and he was only 16 at the time of the crimes.

However for 21 years she did not speak his name until she visited her sisters grave on Easter Sunday in 2011. As she prayed for her sister she also prayed for Biro who had just turned 37 and is serving a three life term sentences. Bishop explained that “She felt a stone had been Rolled away from her heart.” “Easter “she says, “Is always such a reminder that violence and death do not have the last word.”

This 23 year journey of transformation that Bishop has experienced did not end with praying for Biro. Last month Bishop did another interview for the Chicago Tribune where she continued to describe her Journey now toward strengthening her belief in reconciliation and redemption. It started when she read a passage in a meditation book Which read, “All Christians have the responsibility to Forgive those who have wronged them.”

She began to realize that although she had forgiven Biro and has flown all of the world to talk about forgiveness she never told Biro herself that he was forgiven. She did this recently in the form of a letter, which led Biro to write her back ,and for the first time confess to the crimes. Following this Bishop felt that maybe just maybe he could possibly redeem himself. She is not certain that he should ever be let out of jail. Following her meetings with him she said It is unclear to her if he is ready.

But bishop has in recent years found herself working on cases to overturn mandatory life sentences for Juveniles offenders. A supreme court ruling in 2012 has opened the door for the possibility of Biro having a chance at resentencing. Bishop said she still uncertain about how she would feel about Biro having his sentence changed. She wants to continue to try to understand, She is still putting all the pieces together on this journey.

Bishop continues to grapple with her faith as she works to see Biro as redeemable. She ends her Tribune interview saying, “If I really believe that nothing is impossible for God, then I cannot give up on him.” She has with God’s help used the tragic death of her family members as a means for taking a life long faith journey that few of us would dare embark upon. Out of this devastating event and in the midst of overwhelming anger, despair and grief Bishop has found new life. She herself has been transformed. “For I am creating new heavens and a new earth.”

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Dear Friends,

I’m delighted that tomorrow we’ll be celebrating the many gifts of our young people. Liam Koehler, senior at Northside College Prep and long time member of the All Saints’ Youth Group, will be our guest preacher. In his sermon Liam compares his high school career to the stoning of St. Stephen, the first deacon of the church. As you might imagine this could go many ways. Liam, however, has a touching take that I know will resonate with many of us. In addition to Liam, many of our young people will be assisting with our services at 9 and 11 o’clock, so I invite you to come and celebrate their very many gifts and talents.
 
We’ll also be remembering and offering thanks for all of our moms and all those people in our lives who have mothered us.
 
My return from Maine was delayed a bit this week, as I had to fly to Baltimore instead of Chicago. My spouse Susan was visiting her mom and spending some time at our tiny house on the Eastern Shore of Maryland when she fractured her ankle. So I flew to Baltimore to drive Susan, her broken ankle, and our two dogs back home. Susan will be having surgery to fix her ankle on Tuesday morning. I am grateful for our health insurance and even more incensed at certain of our elected officials who consider comprehensive health care to be a privilege rather than a basic human right and necessity.
 
In spite of surgeries and political turmoil, I am reminded as I prayed my way around our neighborhood, taking our dog Izzy on her early morning walk, what a beautiful morning it is. I invite you, in the midst of the upheavals, joys and disappointments of our lives to relish the beauty and love we do see and find and experience with each other.
 
All my best,
Bonnie
 
P. S. - Many thanks to Helen Poot, Jen Simokaitis, and all of you who helped create another wonderful “Reality Fair” for the 7th and 8th graders of Ravenswood School.
¡Veinte de Mayo! May 20th at 6:30pm
 
fiesta
¡Hola amigos!
 
This year's Mexican Fiesta will be extra special, with music by Mariachi Herencia de México. Of course you don't want to miss Colin Collette's Margaritas or Steve Pike and his crew's great fajitas, rice and beans either. Our auction includes Mexican handicrafts and clothing, art and stays in Guanajuato, Mexico and two blocks from the beach in Union Pier, MI.
 
Tickets at the door are $35 adults/$10 children
Sunday, June 4 at the 9 and 11am Services
 
If you would like to have your child baptized at All Saints' on Pentecost, June 4, please plan to attend a preparation session on Saturday May 20 from 9-10:30am. 
 
To RSVP to a session, contact Andrew in the office. Note: Babies and children - including siblings of little ones being baptized - are entirely welcome at the pre-baptismal sessions!
Sunday, May 21 3:30 - 7:30pm
 
All Saints' will host a community dinner for Middle Eastern refugees on May 21, sponsored by families in Oak Park. We need volunteers to help set-up, prepare food, lead kids' activities, serve, and clean up. Any time you can volunteer to welcome our guests will be great! 

To volunteer, please CLICK HERE or contact Laura Youngberg at Laura.Youngberg@iraqimutualaid.org

 

Tuesday, May 30, 5:00-6:00pm 
 
RCS' 5th Tuesday Family Nights are a chance for parents and children to volunteer together. On Tuesday, May 30, children ages 4 and up accompanied by their parents are invited to meet in the parish hall at 5:00pm to decorate cookies for that evening's dinner. At 5:30pm, we'll head to the nursery for a snack and children's story about social justice. At 6:00pm, childcare will be available so that parents can serve the 6:30pm dinner. Kids 10 and up may serve the dinner, too.
Please RSVP to Emily by Sunday, May 28.

 

 

Sunday, June 4, 5:00-7:00pm
 
The Cafe is a bi-annual event that transforms our kitchen and parish hall into a gourmet restaurant complete with a menu, servers, bussers, and musicians.
 
Volunteer sign up is now open! Cafe jobs include servers, bussers, runners, dishwashers, hosts, and more! Please specify in the comment section if you're an adult or if you're under 18.

 

Saturday, June 10, 11:00am at St. James Cathedral 
 
If you have taken an Inquirers Class or equivalent and would like to make an adult profession of faith by being confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church by our bishop, Jeffrey Lee, please contact Bonnie or Emily. A diocesan-wide liturgy of confirmation and reception will be held at St. James Cathedral on Saturday, June 10, at 11:00am.

 

Individual Actions Towards Racial Equality

Volunteer Opportunities, Events, and Recommendations

(re)imagining: Racial Justice Summit Sponsored by YWCA Evanston/North Shore:


Thursday, April 6 from 6 - 8 pm
Friday, April 7 from 9 am - 4 pm
 
Unitarian Church of Evanston
1330 Ridge Ave., Evanston, IL
 
Goal: "To bring people of all ages and demographics together to deepen their understanding of their own racial identities, develop skills to work for change, formulate action plans and engage with others."

For Information and Registration, click here

"The Scottsboro Boys" at Porchlight Theater through March 12th
 
A musical production that is getting rave reviews, "nominated for 12 Tony Awards, and presented in the style of the notorious "minstrel show", this true-life story of nine African American teenagers accused and put on trial in Memphis for a crime they did not commit is one America's most notorious episodes of injustice; inaugurating a wave of social changes leading up to the modern Civil Rights Movement."

For information and ticket prices, click here

Suggested reading, non-fiction: 
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson, January, 2017

This book has been described as "...a provocative and deeply personal call for change. Dyson argues that if we are to make real racial progress we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed, or discounted."

 
Recommended as a "companion piece to the film rather than a stand-alone book." One reviewer recommended "seeing the film first, and then using the book for meditation and revisiting afterward."

Volunteer opportunity: GROWING HOME "We have a vision of a world of healthy people and communities. Everyone deserves to have a good job, and everyone deserves to eat well." Since 2002, Growing Home has trained and employed and, most importantly, given a second chance to people with employment barriers. You may be familiar with their Wood Street farm in Englewood. Their farms are the first and only USDA-certified organic high-production urban farms in Chicago, and because they strive to also feed their community well, all their produce is grown, harvested, cleaned, and sold within a 20-mile radius. Read more at http://growinghomeinc.org

Volunteer opportunity: Non-profit Reading In Motion has successfully refined its mission over its 30+ years to help give kindergarten and first grade students foundational reading skills they need to start on a path for lifetime learning. They partner with public school teachers and have been extremely successful in making a difference in children's lives. Click here for more info.

 

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!

 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!

 

Jeff Lee
Dear Polly and All Saint's Kids,
 
I am writing to you from a meeting of the board of Episcopal Relief & Development in Bogota, Columbia. We are meeting here to visit some of our partner ministries with people in need. I have seen the amazing results of this year's bake sale (in fact, I'm looking at photos of some of the cakes - wow!), and you have reminded me that we don't have to travel to Columbia or South Sudan to make a huge impact for the good of God's people.
 
I am so proud and grateful for you and the work you do. You guys are heroes. Our friends in South Sudan will be blessed by your effort.
 
In Christ,
 
Jeffrey D. Lee
Bishop of Chicago

Sundays at 10am

The phrase Imago Dei means the Image of God. Specifically, the image of God as it is found in humanity. The image of God in us - it is what makes us spiritual people - valued as whole and complete. What does it mean to creatively live as whole people? How do we live in relationship with others - respecting and sharing one another's security and one another's discomfort?

Join us on Sunday mornings between services as we figure out together how to help one another take practical responsibility for living in this world - especially as racial and spiritual beings.

True - our time will be uncomfortable because it will mean talking about race, violence, personal helplessness, and personal failure. Also true - this will be comforting and supportive because it will mean getting to be honest, practicing together, and caring for one another.

Every week we will ask one another "What have you done in these past 7 days with who you are and within your sphere of influence when it comes to the realities of race?" the answers will be different for each person and it won't be a competition. We will be lifting up the everyday choices we make and don't make. Sometimes we will like what happens and sometimes we won't.

And - we will be doing it together.

The Middle Eastern refugees and immigrants served by the Iraqi Mutual Aid Society were deeply moved by the notes of welcome from All Saints. We shared them at our community lunch on Thursday, and now they will hang in our conference room to remind people of your warm welcome in the days to come. Thanks!

Peace,
Laura Youngberg

breadbakersSignup online to bake for a month

Calling all bakers! If you love the smell of fresh-baked bread filling your kitchen, please consider signing up to bake communion bread for our services. This involves a one-month commitment that you'll share with another baker, and you can do all your baking at once and add to the reserves in our freezer.

Signing up is easy, just click here for our page on Signup Genius and reserve your favorite month.

Contact Jennifer Simokaitis, or Anne Ellis if you have any questions.

Yard Signs Available 

Grow Community has created yard signs for anyone who would like to display support for our local public high schools. Signs and sign holders are available in the Reading Room.

 
 

 

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.

 

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.

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 website@allsaintschicago.org and he will send a user name, password, and instructions.

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 care@allsaintschicago.org. You'll be contacted when a need arises and you can sign up to help at your convenience.

 

tinaParishioner, Tina Tchen, accepts Bishop Maryann Budde's invitation to preach at the National Cathedral Sunday, May 8. Click here to see the video.

 

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

1883 Construction web 

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.
 
 

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

Email info@allsaintschicago.org 

Information about pastoral care.

 

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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.