All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago


Dear Friends,

The poet, Mary Oliver writes in her book Upstream,

"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, is tensile, and cool, and has no need of words.
Hope, I know, is a fighter and a screamer." P 147

Hope, as I said in my Christmas Eve sermon, 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 refugee welcome, resettlement and the prevention of deportation.

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

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

Hope. Hope is a fighter and a screamer. Hope is noisy.

I wrote this on the Eve of our Celebration of our Savior's birth, because it seemed right and prudent and necessary. I say it now, again, in this season of Epiphany, two days after our president's inauguration, because it seems right and prudent and necessary. Now more than ever my friends we are being called to enact the Gospel values of: welcoming the stranger, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, visiting the imprisoned and reaching out to all who may soon find themselves on the margins, outside the protection of power
and wealth and whiteness.

Where do we want to stand? With whom do wish to ally ourselves?

Hope is noisy and brash and brave.

We are a place of faith that strives to practice the Gospel values I have listed above. So I don't necessarily see us needing to start up many new programs. Instead I see us doubling down on our current efforts in feeding people body and soul, ramping up our immigration and refugee work, reinvigorating our work on race and white privilege and being a place of warmth, welcome, sustenance and healing for this fractured, broken world of ours.

We need not create new ministries, but enter into our current ones with a sense that now it is game time. All that we have been doing before was practice. It is game on. Game on. Game on.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government, the government will be upon His shoulder, and Name will be called, wonderful, counselor, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~Isaiah 9:6

Hope is also grounded and pragmatic.

We will not try to change everything all at once. We will recognize that small continuous steps will enable us to reach our goals of justice and fairness. And one of the most essential pieces of all transformative undertakings is our ability to offer ourselves and all the weary who wander through our doors care and spiritual sustenance. With this in mind the staff and I, as well our worship committee will be paying special attention to all of our music and our liturgies. Souls need to be fed and I intend for All Saints', Chicago to be one place where that care and feeding happens every single week.

Hope does not give up, hope does not let go, hope carries on. Hope is harder when it is a solitary venture. It is better fed in community. So let us commit to being here for each other, being vulnerable with each other, being prayerful for each other.

Hope is in it for the long haul and so too should we. Our children matter more than ever. The morals and values we impart to them will be the bedrock and cornerstone of our community and country in twenty years. The formation of our children is as relevant and as important as the sanctuary we may offer to a refugee. The long haul. We are in it for the long haul because Hope has a vision of something more.

On this, finally, 25th time I have addressed this congregation as your priest, I am struck by my call to be with you, and your call to be in this place, with the people next to you, with the people who are travelling and protesting, and with me. I am struck by the rightness of this and I give thanks to God, who has invited me to lead this place. Wow. What we do, how we do it. To be sure we blow it, sometimes in very noticeable fashion (God knows I do.). But we also come back and try again with a tenacity, whimsy and faith that fills my heart and stirs my soul.

Thank you.

May we leave here filled with some hope. Not quiet passive faith, but loud, noisy hope, that we with God and God with us, that we who have walked in great darkness
will see and even help create a light, a great light, an eternal light.
A light to enlighten the nations, not just this nation, but all of the nations, all of the nations.

This I ask,
in the name of God: Creator, Christ and Holy Spirit.


The Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry
XII Rector


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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.