Every week we celebrate one of the many ministries that make up the work and witness of All Saints Church. This week our featured ministry is Parish Celebrations … and our featured blogger is ministry member Shannon Bankhead.
Written by All Saints’ Senior Warden Jason Lyon for the February issue of Saints Alive, this overview of how our vestry election process works at All Saints Church is great preparation for the upcoming Annual Meeting on Sunday, February 19th.
by Susan Long
One year and 85 days ago, five of us headed to the Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport to pick up a Syrian refugee family All Saints agreed to welcome and bring them to a completely furnished apartment in America. Our eyes were full of joyful tears as we watched them walk up the platform to the welcome area at LAX.
When I moved to Pasadena in 2013 for school, I knew I wanted to get involved in a church that had a heart for people and a passion for justice, as well as a strong sense of community. It wasn’t long before I found All Saints and started getting involved, even though I didn’t know anyone there. Although I loved the services and focus on justice, to be honest for the first few months I attended All Saints I still felt isolated—lost in a sea of churchgoers. I would awkwardly hang out on the front lawn in front of the church after services and hope to meet people, but it took time and I wasn’t sure how to connect.
In The Heart of Christianity, Marcus Borg describes salvation as “both personal and political … it is about our relationship with God as individuals. And it is also about politics, about our life together as societies, about justice—political, social, and economic justice.” I quote Borg because it was his writing that infused my personal faith journey with a passion for justice work, and it is All Saints that has provided me with a faith community that translates Borg’s understanding of salvation into direct action.
by Matt Mueller-Curson
It should come as no surprise to anyone that the youth of All Saints Church embody the spirit of this parish with enthusiasm and dedication. And it would be hard to get any more involved at All Saints than high school junior Lorenzo Bacani. Acolyte, chorister, Vestry member – Lorenzo has done it all.
Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24, 2016:
“This is the story of the birth of Jesus. A night that transformed our lives. The story begins over 2000 years ago — on this night, God was searching for an angel to deliver some very special messages.”
Loving Our Differences by Jim Loduha
Christmas time should be a season when we warmly embrace one another, especially in our differences. It should be a hopeful time when we extend radical love and inclusion to all. I am reminded of the story behind the overly familiar Christmas carol Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as told in the book Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas by Ace Collins. There is more than a shiny red nose to the story, and it is as relevant today as it was then.
by Kelly Phelan
This has been a whirlwind of an Advent. On the first Sunday of Advent I packed up my Toyota and drove 1200 miles from Seattle to Los Angeles with my best friend. Despite having less than four Sundays to prepare it was the easiest move I ever had. Once I landed in LA I had a hard time getting into the “Advent Spirit” in a place where I have not put on an actual coat since I left Seattle.
“Rebellions are built on hope.”
Yes, it’s a quote from “Rogue One” — the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise. But it could be a quote from Advent One — when we lit the first candle of Hope on the Advent Wreath: an icon of our ongoing rebellion against what the Prayer Book calls “the works of darkness.”
The Candle of Love – by Jenny Tisi
Today is the last Sunday of Advent. We will light the candle of Love today. And what greater way for me to spend my morning than cooking up our 6th annual Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast for the young men of Trouveres. Our newest ensemble, Vox Cambiata, will come and enjoy a feast at 7:45am and look forward to this bonding time every year. No one arrives late. In fact, everyone arrives early.