At the end of June we bid farewell to three extraordinary members of the All Saints staff: Zelda Kennedy [Senior Associate for Pastoral Care], Cathy Maginn [Comptroller] and James Walker [Director of Music.] Between them they have served All Saints Church for a total of sixty-nine years and in many ways we cannot imagine the story of All Saints Church without them. As part of our celebration of their work and witness among us, we asked them to tell us their stories — the stories of what brought them to All Saints and what kept them here — and featured them in the June issue of Saints Alive. Here are those stories:
A reflection on Memorial Day as a Day of Sacred Resistance from Susan Russell, our Senior Associate for Communication. “Resistance is the most tangible way we honor the sacrifice of those who have fallen defending the noble-if-still-aspirational ideal of liberty and justice for all.”
Meet Christine Hartman. Christine describes herself as “a United States citizen, a taxpayer, a parent, a woman, a Christian, a health care consumer, and a small business owner.” She is also a member of the Vestry of All Saints Church. She writes “After the presidential election, I was exhausted from waking up in the middle of night worrying about what was going on in our country. I needed to do something. So I decided to make a trip to The White House once a month to make my voice heard. Not only did I want to feel better about what I was doing, I figured it would be a great opportunity for others to make their voices heard as well.”
The first followers of Jesus were Jews—not only did they themselves identify as Jews, but they were largely recognized by most other Jewish sects as Jews. Of course, they had this peculiar belief in the bodily resurrection of their leader, Jesus, but even this wasn’t enough to kick them out of the Jewish community.
I once threw a house party on Good Friday. I’ll never forget the judgmental voice I heard as I left the Good Friday service at the church I grew up in. “A party on good Friday, oh myyyyy… bless your heart” she scolded in her southern drawl as I jumped on my pink bicycle riding home from church. I was 19 years old and had had an awful year.
A meditation for Monday in Holy Week by Mike Kinman, Rector of All Saints Church.
Mary brought a pound of costly ointment, pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her hair. (John 12:3)
If there was ever a passage of scripture that should be read slowly, savoring each word, letting the images it evokes fully come to life … it is this one from the Gospel assigned to Monday in Holy Week.
Do you have any idea what our brand is?
Levi. Coca-Cola. Ford
These are a few of the brands that built the United States. Each one of them was established with its basic product before 1925. Each one is still totally recognizable ninety-two years later. The term “brand” originally derived from the stamping or marking of cattle or sheep for identification purposes.
Believe me, I have no desire to be visibly stamped or marked like sheep. However, I’m painfully aware that I have both a brand and have been branded as a follower of Jesus and as a child of the resurrection.
I gave up worrying for Lent as my personal form of sacred resistance. This is much more difficult for me than choosing to forego cheese or wine or Trader Joe’s Sriracha Potato Chips. Worrying feels like an addiction, a reflex, and a habit that I carry to the detriment of my physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Today’s Lenten Meditation is offered by Juliana Serrano: a report on her experience this week traveling to Sacramento to lobby for the adoption of SB54 … AKA the California Values Act. So grateful for this wonderful window into the prophetic work of putting faith into action.