All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago

00annualmeeting2017

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.

bonniesig

The Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry
XII Rector

 

Download as pdf.

 

  1. This Week
  2. Services Times
  3. Contact Us
  4. Sermons
Annual Meeting Jan. 28, 2018: Rector's Address

Annual Meeting Jan. 28, 2018: Rector's Address

Here is a link to download Bonnie's address.

Weekly Message for February 18

Weekly Message for February 18

Dear Friends,    

 

How much longer will the killing continue? 
 
Here are some groups and activities you might consider supporting with your time and your money: 
 
  • The IL Council Against Handgun Violence 
  • Moms Demand Action 
  • Gabby Giffords' PAC 

  • And here's a list of congressional representatives who have received the most amount of money from the National Rifle Association. Apparently they are all praying for the people in Florida directly affected by our country’s latest mass shooting. I invite you to pray for their souls and to drop them a note wondering if God is answering their prayers. Will it make a difference? I don’t know. But, being held hostage by a diabolical association that has convinced our elected officials that it is the God-given, constitutionally-sanctioned right of every American to wander around with a semi-automatic rifle is absurd. Seems like all of us ought to start loudly pointing out this insanity.
     
    I’ll be at the Moms Demand Action Lakeview gathering on the 24th of February. Let me know if you’d like to come with me. Please let me know what other courses of action you plan to take to end gun violence in our country.
     
    This evening, All Saints’ will be hosting a gathering for the friends, family, and neighbors of our long-term neighbor John Vanzo at 7:00. Tomorrow morning at 10:30 there will be a visitation in the sanctuary and a memorial service at 11:00 am. All are welcome. 
     
    I’m super excited that we will finally kick off the All Saints’ Youth Group with an overnight this Saturday. Please RSVP to Hilary Waldron if your 7-12 grade child is planning on attending. 
     
    Following the 11:00 Worship service we will have a Newcomer’s Brunch at O’Shaughnessy’s at 12:15. Please join us!
     
    This Sunday, Emily will be preaching, I’ll be celebrating, and our choir will be singing some wonderfully moving Lenten music. It seems like the right time to be praying and repenting. So please come and join me.
     
    All my best,
    Bonnie

     

    Annual Bake Auction

    Annual Bake Auction

    Dear Friends,
     
    For nineteen years, All Saints' has been creating an Africa Bake Auction that changes people's lives. Last year we raised over $26,000 by buying cakes that we baked! With the money raised during the auction between our 9am and 11am worship services, our young people chose to fund:
     
  • wells and clean water for people in South Sudan
  • a women's collective tea store, creating a place for women entrepeneurs
  • scholarships for Sudanese refugees in Uganda
  • financial aid for two scholars working on LGBT issues in Africa
  • health care for women, children, and men in the Diocese of Renk, South Sudan
  • In terms of what it buys in South Sudan, our money is multiplied by a factor of ten. And now, more than ever, our assistance is needed. What you do--what we give--helps people so very much.
     
    So come with your debit cards, bring your friends, bake some goodies, and get ready to make an investment in the lives of people in South Sudan.
     
    Susan and I will be spending at least $750 to make a difference. I'll be baking my no frills, simply chocolate, kinda ugly, really tasty cake!
     
    And during our worship services on Sunday, each offering that isn't marked "pledge" will be given to our friends in South Sudan.  
     
    Please start baking, and email a title and brief description to Polly Tangora so she can streamline check-in by preparing your bid forms in advance. Then post your amazing goodies on Facebookor Instagram, tagging All Saints' and using the hashtag #AfricaBakeAuction. 
     
    All the best, 
    Bonnie
    March For Our Lives - A Lenten Pilgrimage

    March For Our Lives - A Lenten Pilgrimage

     

    Dear Friends,

    I invite you to join me on a pilgrimage to Washington DC on March 24th to support the young people from Florida who are marching in memory of their slain friends, murdered in their high school.

    I believe this journey to DC or a shorter trip to Downtown Chicago needs to be an intrinsic part of our Lenten Discipline this year. This country can no longer sigh and wring our collective hands and be lulled into thinking that there is nothing else we can do. We can show up. We can show up by the thousands, by the hundreds. That showing up begins when each one of us changes a plan and alters a schedule to be there to show we care. Because we do. 

    For DC, we’ll leave Friday evening at 5:00, March 23rd. Click here for more information and to purchase bus tickets. We’ll March during the day on the 24th. And return Saturday night so that we all may be back in time for Palm Sunday Services, March 25th. Know that the procession we take part in on Saturday will be a Palm Sunday Procession for the world and not just our church.

    I hope you can be there, with your family and friends in either DC or Downtown.

    All my best,

    Bonnie

     

    Lenten Evening Prayer

    Lenten Evening Prayer

    On Thursdays, February 15-March 22, brief services of Evening Prayer will be offered at 7:00pm, with scripture, poetry, and song. Come find rest for your souls.

    Inquirers’ Class

    Inquirers’ Class

    On Thursdays, February 15—March 22, the Inquirers’ Class will take place in the Reading Room next to the sanctuary. Designed especially but not exclusively for those new to All Saints’ and/or the Episcopal Church, this 6-week series is an exploration of adult spirituality through history, prayer, scriptures, theology, church polity, and more. If desired, it may also serve as preparation for the rite of confirmation or reception into the Episcopal Church in May or June.

    The book we’ll refer to occasionally in the class is called Jesus was an Episcopalian (and you can be one, too!): A Newcomer’s Guide to the Episcopal Church by Chris Yaw. If you’re interested in joining the class, consider getting a copy to look over.

    Contact Bonnie or Emily for more info.

    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!

    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.

    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

    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.