All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago

 

Christmas Eve 2016

Noisy Hope in the Deep Darkness

Bonnie A. Perry
Luke 2:1-20

May the God who creates….
Please be seated.
Good Evening.

Its kind of dark out there isn’t it?

Metaphorically, physically, politically, there aren’t a lot of candles punctuating the veil of uncertainty that has seemingly settled over our world.

The poet, Mary Oliver in her book Upstream writes, “In the winter I am writing about, there was much darkness. Darkness of nature, darkness of event, darkness of the spirit. The sprawling darkness of not knowing. We speak of the light of reason. I would speak here of the darkness of the world, and the light of _______________. [But] I don’t know what to call it. Maybe hope. Maybe faith, but not a shaped faith—only, say a gesture or a continuum of gestures. But probably it is closer to hope, that is more active, and far messier than faith must be. Faith, as I imagine it, [she writes] is tensile, and cool, and has no need of words. Hope, I know, is a fighter and a screamer.” P 147 Upstream

And the Angel said to them…
Unto 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 find the baby wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’
And there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly hosts praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on Earth, peace and good will.”

Hope--Hope is a fighter and screamer.
Hope is a baby born in a barn.
Hope is remembering again that God risked everything coming into this world as a helpless infant, born to a family without wealth or power.

The way Mary Oliver depicts faith it feels as if faith is much more about acceptance; whereas, hope is anything but acceptance.

Hope is the Northside Housing and Supportive Services, One Northside, the Tent City organizing collation and the members of People’s Church refusing to accept the closing of a much needed homeless shelter.

Hope is the people of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their allies refusing to say ok to risking their water supply for oil passage.

Hope is the city of Chicago declaring itself a sanctuary city in the face of possible federal deportations.

Hope is this church deciding to invest more of our time and energy into refuge welcome and resettlement.

Hope is saying we will neither acquiesce to the state, nor become agents of Cesar,

For unto us a child is born
Unto us a son is given
And the government will be upon His shoulder
And his name shall be
Wonderful, counselor,
The mighty God,
The everlasting Father,
The prince of peace.

Hope says, loudly, in as many languages as possible, “Hate is not welcome here.”

Hope. Hope is a fighter and a screamer.

I don’t know about you, but right now, hope is sounding, not only noisy, but also like an awful lot of work. Perhaps you just came here to sit in the dark amidst the flickering candles and twinkle lights. Perhaps you came here needing rest.

And so you can. So you must. For hope needs a home. Hope needs a bed. Hope needs to be fed. Hope needs to come together to say, “I am weary, I am worn. Hold me tight and tell me it’s going to be alright.”

Welcome. Welcome all of us who long for hope. We come for nourishment. We come tonight to hear ancient words that may soothe our souls, and sing familiar carols of long ago.

Have you ever noticed how good we all sound when we sing together? This wonderful directed energy, so much more than anything anyone of us could muster on our own. Those of us who have thinner, less dependable voices, are able to join our notes with the other rushing wavelengths of sound. And those with full voices, who shy not from highs or lows even you are bolstered by our enthusiasm.

Hope, I think, is like congregational singing. The more who gather, the more who focus our energy, our fear, our talents and dreams, the greater ability we have to make our hopes embodied realities.

Together we sing, together we hope. Together we change the darkness to light. We’ve come tonight, all of us, trying to remember how it all began, so that we may be the ones who do it all again. So that we may be the ones who make haste through the night fields, and find him, the baby, wrapped in bands of cloth, lying in the manger.

Then we know that it is all true, what we have been told. So we leave there, we leave here filled with some hope. Not quiet passive faith, but loud, noisy hope, that we with God and God with us, we who have walked in great darkness will create a light, an eternal light. A light to enlighten the nations,

Glory to God in the highest heaven and Earth Peace and Good will.

Amen.

 

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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,
Bonnie
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 (mebcat@gmail.com)

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 website@allsaintschicago.org 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 care@allsaintschicago.org. 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

Email info@allsaintschicago.org 

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.