Friday E-News | June 7, 2024

by Simon Mainwaring on June 07, 2024

Dear saints,

One of the peculiarities of a large church like All Saints' is that there can be entire subsets of people who remain practically unknown to others. For instance, perhaps you come to church on a Sunday morning for the 11:15 a.m. service and, only seeing a sprinkling of children and their families there, reasonably assume that what you see is typical of All Saints' as a whole. 

If that is your experience, then it would have been something of a shock if you had come with me up to the Attic this week and seen the 60-something children and youth who turned the third floor of the Pritchett Center into an eco-themed Vacation Bible School. The place has been teeming with young life all week. If you had been there on Tuesday afternoon you would have found five of us staff meeting around a table, brainstorming ways for us to strengthen our senior high ministries as we make plans for the new school year. Or if this Saturday morning you happen to swing by the church parking lot you will see our band of youth pilgrims about to head out to Croatia, accompanied by Jenny McBride, Kathy Roberts, Bill Sullivan and yours truly.

In fact, come to All Saints’ any day of the week, and some expression or other of the human family will encounter you, each one a variation on the last—asking different questions, looking for different answers. My whole week has been witness to that very fact. On Wednesday, I hosted an ecumenical group of local clergy whose communities span from the Temple to Central Presbyterian. The next day I was here with a multi-racial cohort of Baptists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Methodists. I had meetings about weddings, a funeral, the Future of Our Block, ordination discernment, verger ministry, vestry service and our calendar for next year's program year. I gathered with All Saints’ off the block in parishioners’ homes: one night to close out a year of a group’s lay leadership development; the other to welcome our new Music Director, Scott Lamlein, with the search committee who helped bring him here. I sat one-on-one with staff, had breakfast with the clergy, and met with a prospective new partner in support of a program for the arts for Title I school kids in a nearby neighborhood. Sometimes this job offers a simply dizzying variety of encounters and stories and hopes and longings, and I love it all! 

In a world when we hear too often about the ways by which we are drawing apart from one another and living lives that fail to encounter people beyond our small islands of concern, All Saints' is a living testament to the power of doing the opposite. Here we are loudly and proudly forging a life together that sees the wide variety of humanity as a gift not a threat. 

The 80th anniversary this past week of the D-Day landings reminds us that at our very worst, we will seek to destroy what we see as different and be deceived by a myopic and exclusionary vision of the world. That anniversary equally reminds us, however, of the courage of those who refuse to see the world in such ways, in that age and across time. 

You and I are called to embrace human life in all of its glorious diversity and this church is a place in our lives where we are gifted the opportunity to practice such an embrace with all sorts of saints and sinners, young and old, wherever each of us are on our journey. So, when you feel discouraged in your encounters with the world, come join me up in the Attic, or down in the kitchen or out on the sidewalk where together we can learn to recognize the many faces of God alive in the people we will meet.

Keep the faith.


View this Week's Newsletter

Previous Page


Enter your info below to receive our weekly e-news, and stay up to date on all our latest community news and events!