Thursday, December 29, 2011

All Saints Church Starts New Year With Summit on Economic & Social Justice

On Sunday, January 1, 2012, All Saints Church welcomes the “New Year's Day People's Summit” – a faith-based forum on economic & social justice. The event will include a teach-in style conversation focused on the U.S. foreclosure crisis and the role of faith-based action in creating social and economic change.

“I am pleased to begin the New Year with this opportunity to offer hospitality to those coming to Pasadena to have a real conversation on economic justice and reclaiming the American Dream for all,” said All Saints rector Ed Bacon

“We are so very proud to be part of this great City of Pasadena which is modeling for the nation how to provide a platform for both beloved American traditions like the Rose Parade and core American values like the free exercise of First Amendment rights represented by the Occupy Movement,” said Bacon. “What All Saints Church brings to the ongoing national conversation about economic and social justice is our commitment to both God’s dream of a human race turned into a human family and to the American dream of liberty and justice for all.”

It is part of the DNA of All Saints Church to be a headlight rather than a tail light on issues of social justice and so speaking out and standing up for social and economic change is absolutely in alignment with our core values of God’s love, justice and compassion. And while All Saints Church has not officially endorsed the Occupy Movement, many of the same policy issues at the center of the movement – particularly economic inequity and a commitment to nonviolence – are of deep concern to the members of the All Saints community.

Participants in the People’s Summit will include organizers from the Occupy Movement, interfaith leaders and a broad cross section of members of the peace & justice community. All Saints clergy Ed Bacon and Carissa Baldwin-McGinnis will participate along with other interfaith leaders. Peter Laarman in his role as a leader of an interfaith group, “Occupy LA Sanctuary,” is coordinating the program which will be held on January 1st from 3-6 p.m at All Saints Church, 132 North Euclid Avenue, Pasadena CA 91101.

For more information contact: Keith Holeman, Communication Director or 310.430.9412.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas at All Saints Church


Saturday, December 24 -- Christmas Eve *[see logistics note below]

Family Service at 3p.m. -- Mastersingers and Troubadours, directed by Jenny Price, offer music of Gray and Bach. The rector and friends tell the Christmas story.

Festive Eucharist at 5:30 p.m. -- Trouveres with instrumental ensemble offer music of Caldwell and Ivory. Carissa Baldwin-McGinnis preaches.

Festive Eucharist at 8:00 p.m. -- Canterbury Choir and chamber orchestra offer Missa Sancti Nicolai by Haydn and music of Wilcocks and James Walker. The Rector preaches. [We will live-stream the 8:00 service on the All Saints website. Click here for more information.]

Festive Eucharist at 11:00 p.m. -- Coventry Choir and chamber orchestra offer Heiligmesse by Haydn and music of Holst. The Rector preaches.

Sunday, December 25 -- Christmas Day

10:30 a.m. Eucharist
Coventry Choir soloists offer carols arranged by David Willcocks.
Wilma Jakobsen preaches.

12:00 p.m. Spanish language Eucharist
Dan Cole and Ensemble offer music.
Abel Lopez preaches.

Saturday, December 31-- New Year's Eve Eucharist
7:30 p.m. in the Church
Canterbury Choir soloists offer music. Ed Bacon preaches.
This special service is a wonderful way to prepare for the new year. Child care provided.

Sunday, January 1-- New Year's Day
Healing Services at 9 & 11:15 a.m. and 1 p.m.


*Christmas Eve: Early arrival helps ensure seating

All Christmas Eve services are well attended. For the 3, 5:30 and 8pm services plan to arrive at least 30 minute early; for the 11pm service at least 45 minutes early. There is no saving of seats. A beautifully decorated Learning Center will serve as overflow seating as needed. The music and preaching in the church are experienced via closed circuit television and then the Eucharist is celebrated “live” in the Learning Center.

Parking: At 3pm parking will be available in the North Lot (corner of Euclid and Walnut) or underground at the Westin Hotel (enter from Union Street.) For the 5:30, 8 & 11 pm services , parking will be available at the Kaiser parking structure or underground at the Westin Hotel.

Child Care is provided for all services.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Live from Pasadena: It's CHRISTMAS EVE!

Whoever you are and wherever you find yourself, you can be part of Christmas Eve at All Saints Church!

Nothing replaces the warmth, beauty, joy and energy of being at All Saints Church on Christmas Eve. And yet, we know there are those in our wider All Saints family who are unable to be with us for our Christmas celebration due to challenges of health, distance, travel or mobility issues.

And so we are delighted to announce that we will be live-streaming the 8:00pm Christmas Eve service this year on the All Saints website.

For more information contact Communication Director Keith Holeman ... by email or at 626.583.2739 ... and to make a Christmas gift to help All Saints fund making God's love tangible 24/7 click here.


Making God's Love Tangible 24/7

"Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these you have done it unto me." -- Matthew 25:40

Each year, thousands of homeless men and women die on the streets due to illness, exposure or violence. These individuals die without the dignity and respect they deserve ... and so last night at All Saints Church was an opportunity to gather for a Memorial Service to honor and acknowledge their lives and membership in the human family.

View the Photos from the Pasadena Sun

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Christmas Message from Ed Bacon

This year we decided to "multiplatformize" the rector's annual Christmas letter to the parish by turning it into a video. Here's a little glimpse of what Christmas looks like at All Saints Church in Pasadena. ENJOY!

[And if you would like to make your Christmas gift to All Saints online, just click here to dontate now!]

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Advent Wisdom from Richard Rohr: Third Sunday of Advent

This year during Advent we are inviting the All Saints community into shared reflection focused on meditations by our Lent Event speaker: noted author, teacher, mystic, contemplative and activist Richard Rohr.

A Franciscan priest, Richard Rohr is founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, a prolific author and a powerful force for God’s love, justice and compassion.

The spirit of God is upon me….
God has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to heal broken hearts, to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and liberation to those in prison


The Spirit always connects, reconciles, forgives, heals and makes two into one. It moves beyond human-made boundaries to utterly realign and renew that which is separated and alienated. The “diabolical” (from two Greek words, dia balien, that mean “to throw apart”), by contrast, always divides and separates that which could be united and at peace. Just as the Spirit always makes one out of two, so the evil one invariably makes two out of one! The evil one tears the fabric of life apart, while the Spirit comes to mend, soften and heal.

In today’s reading from Isaiah, the prophet describes the coming Servant of Yahweh. It is precisely this quote that Jesus first uses to announce the exact nature of his own ministry (Luke 4:18-19). In each case Jesus describes his work as moving outside of polite and proper limits and boundaries to reunite things that have been marginalized or excluded by society: the poor, the imprisoned, the blind, the downtrodden. His ministry is not to gather the so-called good into a private country club but to reach out to those on the edge and on the bottom, those who are “last” to tell them they are, in fact, first! That is almost the very job description of the Holy Spirit, and therefore of Jesus.

The more that we can put together, the more that we can “forgive” and allow, the more we can include and enjoy, the more we tend to be living in the Spirit. The more we need to reject, oppose, den, exclude and eliminate, the more open we are to negative and destructive voices and to our own worst instincts. As always, Jesus is our model of healing, outreach and reconciliation, the ultimate person of the Spirit.

What divisions exist in your life? How can you let the Spirit mend those divisions?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cornel West & Serene Jones in the Rector's Forum December 18

Cornel West & Serene Jones address "The Role of Progressive Religion in the Occupy Movement" on Sunday, December 18 in the All Saints Rector's Forum beginning at 10:15 a.m.

Dr. Cornel West is a prolific essayist, public speaker, social activist, and major figure in African American academia. Commenting recently on his decision to return to the faculty of Union Seminary in NYC, Dr. West said that his liberal politics were formed in Progressive Baptist churches, and that Union was “the institutional expression of my core identity as a prophetic Christian.” His work exemplifies synthesis and innovation and we are honored to welcome him to the Rector's Forum.

Dr. Serene Jones, President of Union Seminary is a popular scholar in the fields of theology, religion and gender studies and a long-time friend of All Saints Church. Dr. Jones not only returns to the Rector's Forum to reflect with Dr. West on the theological context of the Occupy Movement, she will be in the pulpit at both the 9:00 & 11:15 services preaching "Visceral Reckonings."

For more information contact Maren Tompkins in the Rector's Office: 626.583.2711 or The Forum will also be live-streamed from the All Saints website:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Advent Wisdom from Richard Rohr: Second Sunday of Advent

This year during Advent we are inviting the All Saints community into shared reflection focused on meditations by our Lent Event speaker: noted author, teacher, mystic, contemplative and activist Richard Rohr.

A Franciscan priest, Richard Rohr is founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, a prolific author and a powerful force for God’s love, justice and compassion.

John, the Master of Descent

John the Baptist’s qualities are most rare and yet crucial for any reform or authentic transforma-tion of persons or groups. That is why we focus on John the Baptist every Advent and why Jesus trusts him and accepts his non-temple, offbeat nature ritual, while also going far beyond him. Water is only the container; fire and Spirit are the contents, John says. Yet if we are not like the great John, we will invariably substitute our own little container for the realcontents. We will substitute rituals for reality instead of letting the rituals point us beyond themselves.

John the Baptizer is the strangest combination of conviction and humility, morality and mysticism, radical prophecy and living in the present. This son of the priestly temple class does his own thing down by the riverside; he is a man born into privilege who dresses like a hippie; he is a superstar who is willing to let go of everything, creating his own water baptism and then saying that what really matters is the baptism of “Spirit and fire”! He is a living paradox, as even Jesus says of him: “There is no man greater than John….but he is also the least” in the new reality that I am bringing about (Mt 11:11). John both get it and does not get it at all, which is why he has to exit stage right early in the drama. He has played his single and
important part, and he knows it. His is brilliantly a spirituality of descent, not ascent. “He must grow bigger, I must grow smaller” (Jn 3:30).

The only way such freedom can happen is if John learned to be very empty of himself already as a young man, before he even built his tower of success. His ego was out of the way so much so that he could let go of his own ego, his own message and even his own life. This is surely the real meaning of his head on a platter! Some have cleverly said that ego is an acronym for “Edging God Out.” There’s got to be such emptiness, or we cannot point beyond ourselves to Jesus, as John did. Such emptiness doesn’t just fall into our laps; such humility does not just happen. It is surely the end product of a thousand letting-goes and a thousand acts of devotion, which for John the Baptist gradually edged God in.

How is your spirituality one of ascent or descent?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Diocesan Convention 2011

All Saints was well represented at this year's Diocesan Convention in Riverside (December 2 & 3).

Thursday, December 1, 2011

All Saints in the News on World AIDS Day

Battle fatigue: Pasadena area AIDS activists struggle to keep the fight going 30 years later

Thirty years ago, when the nation clamored to disseminate news, facts and awareness of a growing HIV/AIDS epidemic, the city of Pasadena stood at the forefront of activism.

It was here that physician and UCLA professor of medicine Michael Gottlieb became one of the first in the medical community to identify and classify AIDS in a 1981 report to the Centers for Disease Control. The city formed an AIDS Taskforce to study the needs of those living with HIV/AIDS, and All Saints Church had started the Pasadena AIDS Service Center to support individuals and families affected by it. By 1991, the Pasadena Public Health Department had opened Andrew Escajeda Comprehensive Care Services to provide outpatient care to HIV-infected individuals.

This year marks a milestone in AIDS history — it was 30 years ago this June 5 that HIV/AIDS was officially classified as a rare lung infection by the CDC.

The Rev. George Regas, rector emeritus at Pasadena’s All Saints Church, recalled a time when large gatherings turned out for the church’s annual AIDS mass. “We put it together to bring in people’s consciousness the real tragedy we were experiencing with AIDS in larger Pasadena,” Regas said. “People became aware of what was happening all around.”

In 1990, Pasadena ranked fifth in California for HIV incidence per 100,000 people, with 146 people infected and 88 fatalities, according to an Oct, 11, 1990 Los Angeles Times article. Today, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health estimates there are 62,800 people in the county living with HIV/AIDS — 13,500 of whom don’t know they’re infected. In San Gabriel Valley, there are 2,981 people who’ve contracted the disease.

In 1987, under the aegis of All Saints Church, Regas helped start the AIDS Service Center as a telephone helpline where people could leave questions and concerns on an answering machine. A flood of calls came in, he recalls, and within one year, the church had raised enough money to open a brick and mortar center.

Today, the center, located at 909 S. Fair Oaks Ave. in Pasadena, supports more than 1,000 clients living with the disease and offers services to another 4,000 residents in the form of HIV/AIDS 101 education programs and testing, according to Director of Marketing and Development Anthony Guthmiller.

Read the rest in The Pasadena Weekly

Monday, November 28, 2011

Friends, Followers & Faith: How Social Media are Changing the Church

with Elizabeth Drescher

We’ve reached a new cultural moment in which social media like Facebook,
Twitter, YouTube, and Foursquare are shaping religious and spiritual experience to the same extent they impact the rest of our lives. What does this mean for the church?

In her recent book Tweet If You ♥ Jesus: Practicing Church in The Digital Reformation, Santa Clara University religion professor Elizabeth Drescher explores the impact of the shift from broadcast media -- where mainline churches took a backseat to evangelical and non-denominational celebrities--to digital media--where mainline rational traditions prepare us for new ways of communicating, connecting, and leading.

Here are All Saints we first became aware of Dr. Drescher's work when she interviewed Susan Russell -- Senior Associate for Communication -- while doing research forTweet If You ♥ Jesus. Further conversations about the role of All Saints Church as a leader in "multiplatform convergence" led to an invitation to come visit and we are delighted to welcome her to share her work and wisdom with us on December 11th.

So come be informed and inspired by Professor Elizabeth Drescher. Sunday, December 11 during the 10:15 Education Hour in Sweetland Hall. For more information email

All Saints @OccupyLA | November 28, 2011

photos by: Kristin Bedford

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Advent Wisdom from Richard Rohr: First Sunday of Advent

This year during Advent we are inviting the All Saints community into shared reflection focused on meditations by our Lent Event speaker: noted author, teacher, mystic, contemplative and activist Richard Rohr.

A Franciscan priest, Richard Rohr is founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, a prolific author and a powerful force for God’s love, justice and compassion.

“Come, Lord Jesus,” the Advent mantra, means that all of Christian history has to live out of a kind of deliberate emptiness, a kind of chosen non-fulfillment. Perfect fullness is always to come, and we do not need to demand it now. This keeps the field of life wide open and especially open to grace and to a future created by God rather than ourselves. This is exactly what it means to be “awake,” as the Gospel urges us! We can also use other a words for Advent: aware, alive, attentive, alert, aware are all appropriate. Advent is, above all else, a call to full consciousness and a forewarning about the high price of consciousness.

When we demand satisfaction of one another, when we demand any completion to history on our terms, when we demand that our anxiety or any
dissatisfaction be taken away, saying as it were, “Why weren’t you this for me? Why didn’t life do that for me?” we are refusing to say, “Come, Lord Jesus.” We are refusing to hold out for the full picture that is always given by God.

“Come, Lord Jesus” is a leap into the kind of freedom and surrender that is rightly called the virtue of hope. The theological virtue of hope is the patient and trustful willingness to live without closure, without resolution, and still be content and even happy because our Satisfaction is now at another level, and our Source is beyond ourselves. We are able to trust that he will come again, just as Jesus has come into our past, into our private dilemmas and into our suffering world. Our Christian past then becomes our Christian prologue, and “Come, Lord Jesus” is not a cry of desperation but an assured shout of cosmic hope.

What expectations and demands of life can you let go of so that you can be more prepared for the coming of Jesus this Advent season?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Stephen Mitchell in the Rector's Forum this Sunday, 11/27

How does the universe work?

That question pulses at the heart of the world’s great literature. We at All Saints are drawn to those who think deeply and/or write lyrically about how the universe works. Jesus, Job, the Psalmist, Homer, Gilgamesh, the Tao Te Ching, the Bhagavad Gita, the poet Rilke and others have been translated, usually from the original language, by our friend, Stephen Mitchell, who will join us in the Rector's Forum this Sunday, November 27, at 10:15 a.m.

He has now translated The Iliad in a way that his editor told me brought tears to her eyes. Stephen has a gift for taking ancient texts and bringing them to life with an accessible and contemporary grace.

"When I interviewed Stephen in Oprah Winfrey’s radio studio for the Oprah’s Soul Series," said Ed Bacon "his centered calmness, his love of wisdom, his brilliant mind, and his soul shaped by years of Buddhist meditation all worked together to change my life. I want each of you to experience this friend of mine."

A sixth-grade memory of a drawing of the Greek goddess Athena inspired Stephen Mitchell to tackle Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad. He had tried to read other translations but was unable to get past the first part. The image of Athena floating in the air wearing a fluid garment, helmet on head, spear in hand, captured his imagination and made him want to create an English version of The Iliad with the music he felt in that drawing. For several years he immersed himself in the Greek, to find a way into the epic that would make the story come alive for him. Criticized by some for using English slang in places and not producing an exact translation, he has been praised by others who feel he captures the essence of the epic, brings it alive, and makes it enjoyable to read. Copies of six of his books will be available.

Please join us and tell your friends and family. If you cannot be with us in person on Sunday, watch the live video stream of the Forum here at 10:15 a.m. Pacific.

Monday, November 21, 2011

BOYCOTT BLACK FRIDAY: Join us @ Occupy L.A. for an Interfaith Celebration of Hope and Abundance


Friday November 25, 2011
Main Square of Occupy LA, City Hall


Music |Scriptural Readings in the OWS “Mic Check!” format |Fruit Basket Offerings of Thanks |Sights, Sounds and Smells of Many Religions |Ending with a “Jericho-Style” Walk around City Hall with the sound of the ram’s horn

SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Carissa Baldwin-McGinnis; All Saints Church Director of Peace & Justice

For more info contact: Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater/OLA Interfaith Councilmember
FB: Occupy Los Angeles Sanctuary

"The Elders" @ Occupy L.A.

On Sunday, November 20th, a newly organized independent group of elder leaders from many of the defining American social justice movements of the 20th century led a service of solidarity and conversation with OccupyLA demonstrators. Similar events with other notable elders were held in San Francisco, Oakland and New York.

All Saints Rector Emeritus George Regas (pictured below with members of All Saints at the rally) was one of the speakers here in Los Angeles as a hearty crowd gathered on the steps of City Hall in spite of the Sunday afternoon downpour.

More photos here [photo credit Laura Aguilar] ... and for more information on OccupyLA and how you can help support this witness for econonic justice, visit the All Saints website.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Together again: Ed Bacon & Oprah Winfrey!

News from Harpo Studios this week:
Super Soul Sunday News! On Sunday, November 20, 2011, we will be airing The Oprah Winfrey Show: When Life Breaks You Open featuring Ed Bacon, Elizabeth Lesser and Michael Beckwith
Ah, yes. We remember it well. Ed described it in a recent Huffington Post blog:
As a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show in January 2009, I said, "Being gay is a gift from God." Those seven words -- spoken to a call-in viewer from Atlanta -- set off a ripple of response that lit up Oprah's switchboard, almost crashed our parish email server and continues to bring people toward us here at All Saints Church in Pasadena. And that moment continues to be for me an iconic example of how important it is for people of faith to confront discrimination against our LGBT brothers and sisters by standing up and by speaking out.
So if you missed it the first time -- or you just want to watch it again -- then tune in (or "TIVO on") to "Super Soul Sunday" on OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network) on Sunday morning between 8-11am ... details here ... and check it out!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Elders Speak @ OccupyLA

On November 20th, a newly organized independent group of elder leaders from many of the defining American social justice movements of the 20th century, will lead a service of solidarity and host a conversation with Occupy demonstrators and other interested individuals in Los Angeles. Similar events with other notable elders will be held in San Francisco, Oakland and New York.

Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr., Pastor Emeritus, Holman United Methodist Church
Rev. Canon Malcolm M. Boyd, Poet-in-Residence, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles
Ms. Dolores Huerta, Co-Founder, United Farm Workers
Rev. George Regas, Executive Director, Regas Institute
Dr. Maher Hathout, Physician (retired), leading spokesperson for the American Muslim Community
Rabbi Leonard Beerman, Founding Rabbi, Leo Baeck Temple

2:00pm Interfaith Circle at Occupy Los Angeles, South Lawn at Los Angeles City Hall
3:00pm ELDERS SPEAK AT OCCUPY LOS ANGELES, South Lawn at Los Angeles City Hall

For more information Contact FOR LOS ANGELES EVENT ONLY: Rev. Sandie Richards, member, Occupy Los Angeles Interfaith Council-- 323-761-0797 DOWNTOWNLAREV@GMAIL.COM

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

All Saints@OccupyLA

A contingent from All Saints joined interfaith clergy leaders at a meeting in support of OccupyLA on Wednesday morning, November 16:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"The Parable of the Talents: Version 2011"

Gospel Drama performed at All Saints Church, Pasadena, on Sunday, November 13, 2011, by Jamie Donnelly, Art McDermott, Anina Minotto, Terry Moore, Jaclyn Carmichael Palmer, Samuel Paul, and Alma Stokes. Directed by Melissa Hayes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Respect for Marriage Act: Statement from All Saints Church, Pasadena

It is long past time to overturn the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – a shameful piece of legislated discrimination that does nothing to defend marriage and everything to make second class citizens out of gay and lesbian couples and their families. And so at All Saints Church in Pasadena we greet with delight the news that this morning the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Respect for Marriage Act. By that action our nation takes a much needed step toward making liberty and justice for all not just a pledge but a reality.

“God does not discriminate against same-sex couples and neither should our federal government,” said All Saints’ Rector Ed Bacon. “The time has come for a Protect Marriage Movement that protects ALL marriages and for a Family Values coalition that values ALL families – and as a priest and pastor I want to be part of helping realize that goal.”

At All Saints Church in Pasadena we married forty-six same-sex couples when marriage equality was the law in California from May – November 2008. When a slim majority of California voters passed Proposition 8 and wrote discrimination into our state constitution, our governing board passed the following resolution:
WHEREAS, the institution of civil marriage in the State of California is, as a result of Proposition 8 and the Court’s decision, a constitutionally-mandated instrument of discrimination, which furthers injustice and denies same-sex couples the fundamental dignities to which each human being is entitled;and

WHEREAS, our active participation in the discriminatory system of civil marriage is inconsistent with Jesus’ call to strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being; and

WHEREAS, All Saints Church is called to make the sacrament of marriage equally available to all couples, regardless of their sexual orientation;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Rector, Wardens and Vestry do declare that the sacramental right of marriage is available to all couples, but that the clergy of All Saints Church will not sign civil marriage certificates so long as the right to marry is denied to same-sex couples.
The Respect for Marriage Act will allow All Saints Church to get back into the business of ministering equally to all who come to us seeking to live lives committed to each other and in alignment with God’s love, justice and compassion. And by granting the same federally protected rights and responsibilities to all married couples it will help us live into our DNA as a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all are created equal. The Respect for Marriage Act isn’t just the right thing to do for same-sex couples. It’s the right thing to do for America.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sabbath Economics

On Saturday, November 5th Robyn Smith offered a presentation on "Sabbath Economics" -- and we are grateful to Robyn for sharing the content for us to share here.
Where have we heard this story before?

 Wealth extracted from the land and our labor, and hoarded by a small group of people.
 The devaluation of work and workers, with shrinking salaries, increasing unemployment, and increasing amounts of debt owed to that same small group of people.

Sabbath economics started with these same questions in Egypt.

 Pharaoh believed that there wasn’t enough to go around, so he wanted it all for himself.
 When the crops failed and the peasants ran out of food, Pharaoh asked, “What’s your collateral?”
 So the Israelites gave up their land for food. The next year, they still didn’t have food, so Pharaoh asked again, “what’s your collateral?”
 And they gave up their cattle.
 By the third year of famine they had no collateral but themselves.
 And, in the words of Walter Brueggeman, that’s how the children of Israel became slaves – through an economic transaction. (Walter Brueggemann, “The Liturgy of Abundance, the Myth of Scarcity,” Christian Century (March 24, 1999).)

Fortunately, we all know that that is not where the story ends. Once the Israelites were sprung from slavery, just like us they had a hard time imagining a different kind of economic system.
But in the desert, God presented them with a radical alternative economy that put LIFE, people, community, and the earth at its center.

When the manna rains down from heaven, the people are given three instructions (see Ched Myers, The Biblical Vision of Sabath Economics, Chapter One (2001)):
[A] To gather just enough bread for their needs – so everyone has enough, but no one has too much or too little.

[B] Not to hoard or store the bread – so Israel is enjoined to keep wealth circulating through sharing, rather than concentrating wealth through accumulation. This instruction to redistribute wealth is echoed later on, in instructions to:
  1. Cancel all debts and allow the land to rest every seven years;
  2. And every 50 years to return foreclosed land to its original owners, and to free all slaves.
These commands seek to limit human appetite, and prevent the emergence of a permanent underclass. Finally, the Israelites are instructed to observe the Sabbath every seventh day.

The Sabbath is not about resting so that we can be more productive. Rather, it was supposed to be a radical day of rest for everyone and everything – the slaves, the immigrants, the land, even the animals. It’s purpose is to disrupt human attempts to control nature and maximize the forces of production.

On the Sabbath, we are reminded that:
 We don’t own or create any of the wealth around us – the land and its resources are gifts from God that are meant to be shared equitably, they are not possessions to hoard and exploit; and

 our value does not come from our ability to earn or spend money. We are more than just workers, more than just consumers. We are loved by God unconditionally, and are created in Her image.
All of these practices served to remind the Israelites that they were an Exodus people who must never return to a economic system of slavery.

This radical vision of a life-supporting, community-centered equitable and just economy is echoed over and over, by the Prophets and by Jesus. For example, the prayer that Jesus teaches his disciples reminds us of the manna story and Sabbath debt-forgiveness: “Give us enough bread for today, and forgive us our debts as we forgive the debts others.”

The Israelites experience of liberation from slavery can help us think about the process we are engaging in today as All Saints, but also as individuals and as members of our larger communities.

Walter Brueggeman describes the Exodus transformation as happening in three steps (from Hope Within History):

Step 1: Questioning of the dominant economic ideology.
Step 2: The public processing of pain.

The Israelites groaned under their slavery and cried out – they voiced and named their suffering communally and publicly. Walter Brueggemann calls this “an irreversible act of disobedience. The cry of pain begins the formation of a counter-community around an alternative perception of reality.”

Step 3: Because God heard their cries, there is a release of new social imagination.

Israel elaborated a new way to live responsibly in social and economic relationships that are liberating and just.

So, as we hear about the G20 economic summit, and the constant refrain that we must grow our economy, when doing so imperils the survival of life on earth, we have to ask ourselves whether we can imagine and create a different kind of economy, based on our own Biblical values that:
 “the world as created by God is abundant, with enough for everyone, provided that human communities restrain their appetites and live within limits;
 disparities in wealth and power are not natural, but the result of human sin, and must be mitigated through the regular practice of redistribution and justice.” (Ched Myers, The Biblical Vision of Sabath Economics, Chapter One (2001))
Surely the God who liberated the Israelites can guide us also into radical action for personal, social and economic transformation.

Friday, November 4, 2011


All Saints Church has a long history of engaging the issues of the day at the local, national and global level -- and on Saturday, November 5th the congregation will continue that historic role in a day-long event focused on the economic challenges of the “new normal.” National worker’s rights activist Kim Bobo will join All Saints rector Ed Bacon and others as All Saints continues to set its platform for an informed and considered response to the realities we face.

“We are building on All Saints’ long history of incubating socially relevant agencies after doing our homework,” said Ed Bacon. “Saturday will be an important next step in our discernment about how – not if – All Saints crafts its response to the economic challenges we face as a community and as a nation.”

For more than a year a number of small groups within the All Saints community have been holding meetings, sharing stories and exploring the impact of today’s economic realities on the spiritual lives and faith of individuals in the community and parishioners. Groups like Life and Livelihood and Vocational Journeys have served as a place for the unemployed and underemployed to talk in safe, confidential settings about the difficulties individuals and families are facing as a result of layoffs, downsizing, plant closures and market downturns.

With the continuing recession, the parish will use the knowledge that has been garnered by these small groups to inform and open discussion on what future impacts the depressed economic environment will continue to have on the spiritual lives of individual members of the parish and the community as a whole.

Saturday, November 5, 2011 -- from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm in the All Saints Forum.

A potluck lunch will be served.

All Saints Church is located at 132 North Euclid Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105. The event is free, reservations are requested. Contact Linn Vaughan at 626.583.2744 for more information.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Living into the Questions at Occupy L.A.

On Sunday afternoon October 30th All Saints rector Ed Bacon paid a second visit to Occupy L.A. His reflections -- "Living into the Questions at Occupy L.A." -- were published on the Huffington Post on 11/2.

Here's a little snippet to get you started:

My first visit to Occupy L.A. was in the context of the October 7th "Jobs Not War" Peace March marking the 10th anniversary of the War in Afghanistan. "What is the focus? What does this mean? And is this effective?" Those are but some of the questions I've been pondering as the growth and momentum of the Occupy Movement has become not only the focus for reporters and bloggers but the fodder for editorials and sermons in the days and weeks since.

And so I returned to Occupy L.A. for a second visit on a Sunday afternoon (10/30.) Deciding not to announce my identity as a priest, I left my clerical collar at home -- and spent several hours in observation.

Read the whole post here

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

GRACE in ACTION: 1775 Hours a Week!

Here's the final installment of our stewardship season series here at All Saints Church in Pasadena ... where mission and ministry are alive and well:
Throughout the month of October we've told stories of the many ways All Saints has touched the lives of individuals in our church community. What does it take to make all this happen? Today we give you a glimpse "behind the scenes" - a look at how our 55 full-and part-time staff members put in 1,775 hours every single

Monday, October 31, 2011

Dia de los Muertos @ All Saints Church

Whoever you are and wherever you find yourself on your journey this week, you can be part of our Dia de los Muertos celebration here at All Saints Church … by posting up a photo a memory of your loved one on our virtual Altar of Remembrance.

"Dia de los Muertos" is a festive and colorful celebration in which we honor our loved ones as they were when they were alive. Particpants are encouraged to bring photographs, garments, flowers, favorite foods, stories, or other reminders of loved ones to decorate the Altar of Remembrance.

The service will be held in the All Saints Chapel beginning at 7:30pm on Wednesday, November 2nd. Zelda Kennedy will preside.

This year, a "virtual" Altar of Remembrance has been created to invite those who cannot be present in the All Saints Chapel on Wednesday evening to honor their loved ones by posting a photo and a remembrance here. We will then gather ALL these names together, along with our memories, in thanksgiving and prayer ... and preserve them here on this blog:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

All Saints Sunday: A Celebration of Life in the Presence of Death

We celebrate the truth that this community,
what we call the communion of saints,
is stronger than death.

It is All Saints' custom on the Sunday following All Saints Day to remember with thanksgiving those who have died with the celebration of a Requiem Mass. On Sunday, November 6, 2011 Coventry Choir will offer the Lux aeterna by Morten Lauridsen, accompanied by a chamber orchestra under the direction of James Walker. 9:00 & 11:15 a.m.

NOTE: Incense will be used at 9, 11:15am & 1pm an “Incense-Free” zone will be available in the Guild Room at 9 & 11:15am

All Saints Takes On the New Normal: Our Life and Our Livelihood

Saturday, November 5, 2011
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
in the Forum
Potluck Lunch

David Leonhardt, the New York Times Washington bureau chief in his Sunday new analysis said:
“…The most worrisome aspect about our current slump is that it combines obvious short-term problems from the financial crisis with less obvious long-term problems…Together, these problems raise the possibility that the United States is not merely suffering through a normal, if severe, downturn. Instead it may have entered a phase in which high unemployment is the norm.”
With these issues ahead of us, please join me, Life and Livelihood, and other All Saints ministries on Saturday, Nov. 5 as we explore the values of dignity, equality, and hope for every human being.

Special guest Kim Bobo, executive director of Chicago’s Interfaith Worker justice program, will be with us. We will take the day to examine the “new normal” and how best to respond to our unstable world with persevering faith, strength and hope. We’ll share a potluck lunch and fellowship. And together we will help move our parish toward an enlightened response to these challenging times. Please join in!

For more information contact Linn Vaughan by email or call 626.583.2744

Sunday, October 23, 2011

All Saints Stands With Farmworkers

Florida farmworkers and their allies demand higher wages at Trader Joe's
By Brenda Gazzar, [Pasadena Star-News] Staff Writer

MONROVIA - At least 350 Florida tomato pickers and their allies marched to Trader Joe's corporate headquarters Friday, calling on the company to sign "a fair food agreement" with a community-based worker organization.

Organizers called the afternoon rally the largest by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in California since the successful conclusion of the Taco Bell Boycott in 2005. CIW is an organization of mainly Latino, Mayan Indian and Haitian immigrants working in low-wage jobs throughout Florida.

Read more

More photos

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Patt Morrison Interviews George Regas on "Keeping Faith"

His church, All Saints Episcopal in Pasadena, came under IRS scrutiny seven years ago after he delivered a sermon on the Iraq war.

Yep, that was George Regas in that photo — the man in the purple ecclesiastical robe and handcuffs. The rector emeritus of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena chose to get busted this month outside the downtown federal building protesting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A few days earlier, scores of mostly conservative ministers across the country had deliberately defied the IRS ban on candidate endorsements by tax-exempt churches. Regas had tripped that wire inadvertently seven years ago, with a sermon that caught the IRS' ear and could have cost All Saints its tax exemption. He's retired from the pulpit, but time has not staled nor circumstance withered Regas' appetite for engagement.

Read the rest of Patt Morrison's interview with George Regas here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Noise of Democracy: Stories from the Political Imagination with Jeff Sharlet

Jeff Sharlet, bestselling author of The Family and C Street, will discuss his newest and most personal book, Sweet Heaven When I Die, and his reporting on – and from within – the Occupy movement.

Sharlet is Mellon Assistant Professor of English at Dartmouth and a contributing editor for Harper’s Magazine and Rolling Stone. In 2000, Sharlet teamed up with novelist Peter Manseau to create, which has since become an award-winning online literary magazine about religion and spirituality. That led to a year on the road for Sharlet and Manseau, investigating the varieties of religious experience in America—a cowboy church in Texas, witches in Kansas, a Pentecostal exorcism for a terrorist in North Carolina, and an electric chair gospel choir in Florida.

A frequent guest on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show and NPR’s “Fresh Air,” Sharlet has appeared on HBO’s Bill Maher Show, Comedy Central’s Daily Show, NBC Nightly News, CNN, NPR, BBC, and other media venues.

From the Washington Post review of Sweet Heaven When I Die:
Jeff Sharlet delivers a fine dose of thoughtful skepticism in “Sweet Heaven When I Die,” his collection of 13 trenchant essays on how we gain, lose, maintain and blindly accept faith. The book belongs to the tradition of long-form, narrative journalism best exemplified by writers such as Joan Didion, John McPhee, Norman Mailer and Sharlet’s contemporary David Samuels. Sharlet deserves a place alongside such masters, for he has emerged as a master investigative stylist and one of the shrewdest commentators on religion’s underexplored realms.
Copies of his books will be available for purchase.

Jeff Sharlet in the All Saints Rector’s Forum | Sunday, October 30th | 10:15 a.m.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's All Purple All Day @ All Saints Church

Members of the All Saints staff take a brief time out from their regularly scheduled "to do" list of turning the human race into the human family for a #SpiritDay photo op ... making God's Love Tangible to LGBT youth at risk by making today All Purple All Day @ All Saints Church!

What’s a former District Attorney doing opposing the death penalty?

“The death penalty in California is broken and unfixable.”

Those are the words of former Los Angeles District Attorney, Gil Garcetti. This Sunday in the Rector’s Forum we will learn Garcetti’s reasoning behind his thinking.

Garcetti has given his support to the SAFE California Act, an initiative that would replace capital punishment with life imprisonment without parole. He believes that costs attached to the death penalty system are much higher than the costs for life imprisonment, and that the SAFE initiative will generate monies that can be used to bolster education and the juvenile justice system which will work to prevent crimes, making Californians safer.

California voters now prefer life in prison without the possibility of parole over the death penalty for someone convicted of first degree murder by a 48% to 41% margin. Garcetti, who has prosecuted dozens of death penalty cases, is working to increase that margin. All Saints Church and the national Episcopal Church have long favored the abolition of the death penalty.

Garcetti spent 32 years in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, eight of them as the elected District Attorney. He has been a Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, and is an award-winning photographer. He is developing a foundation to help Latino and African-American students to complete high school. Bring your questions and your concerns to this important justice issue.

Sunday, October 23 | 10:15 a.m. in the All Saints Forum | Visit the ASC website for live streaming info

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

All Saints Church Supports #SpiritDay

On Thursday, October 20 at All Saints Church in Pasadena the daily service of Holy Eucharist will be offered with special intentions for LGBT youth at risk and for an end to religion based bigotry and the healing of homophobia.

We will join with millions of Americans who will wear purple as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. Started by teenager Brittany McMillan to stand up against bullying “Spirit Day” embodies a commitment to create a world in which LGBT teens are celebrated and accepted for who they are.

The service will be held in the All Saints Chapel beginning at 12:10 p.m. and the Reverend Abel Lopez will preach and preside. All are welcome.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Russell Ferrante Kicks Off an Extraordinary Jazz Vespers Season

We could not be more thrilled to welcome back Jazz Giant and All Saints member Russell Ferrante to kick off our 2011-2012 Jazz Vespers Season.

Russell has written with and produced records for: Bobby McFerrin, Michael Franks, Sadao Watanabe, Marilyn Scott, Eric Marianthal, and Sergio Salvatore among others. A founding member of the Yellowjackets, Russell will bring his extraordinary musical gifts to the All Saints Chancel for what is guaranteed to be another "don't miss" musical event.

Sunday, October 23, 2011 | 5:00 p.m. in the Chancel.

For more information visit or contact Melissa Hayes, 626.583.2725 or

All Saints sends Happy 80th Birthday Greetings to Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Last Friday -- October 7th -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu celebrated his 80th birthday ... and All Saints celebrated with this video birthday card. ENJOY!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

“Hearts and Hands: Creating Community in Violent Times” with Luis Rodriguez

Sunday, October 16 in the Rector's Forum.

Luis J. Rodriguez is convinced that a writer can change the world. Through education and the power of words Rodriguez saw his own way out of poverty and despair in the barrio of East LA successfully breaking free from the years of violence and desperation he spent as an active gang member. Achieving success as an award-winning poet, he was sure the streets would haunt him no more — until his 15-year-old son joined a gang.

He was one of 50 leaders worldwide selected as “Unsung Heroes of Compassion,” presented by the Dalai Lama. In 2011 he is to be presented the “Spirit in the Struggle” award from East LA’s InnerCity Struggle for his commitment to social justice and for his dedication to issues affecting youth, families and community members, both locally and nationwide.

Luis is one of the leading Chicano writers in the country with fourteen published books in memoir, fiction, nonfiction, children's literature, and poetry. Luis' poetry has won a Poetry Center Book Award, a PEN Josephine Miles Literary Award, a Paterson Poetry Book Prize, among others. He is an inspiration to several generation of Angelinos and a recent visitor to Occupy Wall Street. His first book, the best-seller Always Running, is widely proclaimed as the definitive book on LA gang life.
“Rodriguez is a relentless truth-teller, an authentic visionary, a man of profound compassion… [In Hearts and Hands] he acknowledges the lessons we can learn from the social sciences, he scrutinizes what succeeds and what fails in the realm of public policy, but he never allows us to forget that the rescue of young people is also ‘a spiritual quest.’”— Los Angeles Times Book Review
Come be both informed and inspired in what is sure to be an unforgettable Rector's Forum. Sunday, October 16 in the Forum beginning at 10:15 a.m. | All Saints Church, 132 N Euclid, Pasadena 91101

For more information contact Maren Tompkins at 626.583.2711

All Saints Voted Pasadena's "Best Place of Worship"

The annual Pasadena Weekly "Best of Pasadena" issue is out today ... and All Saints Church is honored to have been voted "Best Place of Worship" by Pasadena Weekly readers. Explore the other "bests" on the PW website ... and make this the week to say to a friend or neighbor, "Hey ... that was my church in the Pasadena Weekly this week. Come with me this Sunday and check it out!"

Best Place of Worship
All Saints Church
132 N. Euclid Ave., Pasadena
(626) 796-1172 |

When All Saints first began in 1883, services were held in members' homes. Two years later, the first Episcopal Church in Pasadena was built. Today, All Saints is the cornerstone of several community-based programs and organizations created to meet the needs of all people, members or otherwise. All Saints helped found the Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP), an ecumenical group started in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and has sponsored many other awareness events, including lectures and films.

GALAS at San Gabriel Valley Pride

Our GALAS (Gays and Lesbians @ All Saints) group was well represented at San Gabriel Pride, held October 8th here in Pasadena. Pictured is Daniel Howell, staffing the GALAS table.

Click here for more information on GALAS

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A "Coming Out Day" Message from Ed Bacon

"Being Gay Is a Gift from God"
from the Huffington Post

As a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show in January 2009 I said “being gay is a gift from God.”

Those seven words – spoken to a call-in viewer from Atlanta -- set off a ripple of response that lit up Oprah’s switchboard, almost crashed our parish email server and continues to bring people toward us here at All Saints Church in Pasadena. And that moment continues to be for me an iconic example of how important it is for people of faith to confront discrimination against our LGBT brothers and sisters by standing up and by speaking out.

It is why that on this Coming Out Day 2011 I believe it is no longer enough for LGBT people to come out and let the world know who they were created to be – although that continues to be a courageous and transformational act. It is time for Christians to come out and let the world see the Church as it was created to be – a vehicle of love and justice, not a bastion of bigotry and homophobia.

It is time for people of faith to speak out against the religion-based bigotry that has for too long fueled the fires of homophobia that perpetuate violence against LGBT people and plants the seeds of self-loathing in LGBT youth.

And it is time to take to heart the words of Rabbi Abraham Heschel, who famously said, “Few are guilty, but all are responsible.” I may not be guilty of the religion based bigotry that has wounded countless members of God’s beloved LGBT children but I am responsible for offering a counter-narrative to the lies that have been told about the God I serve – the God of love, justice and compassion.

My faith tradition teaches that the truth will set you free – and the truth is: God Loves.

The truth is: Love Trumps.

And the truth is: Being gay is a gift from God.

Monday, October 10, 2011

GRACE in ACTION: Teri Valentine

Bite and Balance

Everybody at All Saints seems to have a story about how deeply the church has affected their lives. Teri Valentine, a member of the Women’s Community steering committee, likes to tell one about her children.

“My youngest daughter, Hazel, was in an evening music recital at school and asked her brother Sam to attend,” she said. “Sam told her that he looked forward to the Wednesday youth group at church more than anything else during the week, so he hoped that she would understand his not being at school for her recital. That must be some youth program, right?”

All of Teri’s children have been active in the programs at ASC. Her eldest, Katie Rayburn, who just left to attend the University of Arizona, was an acolyte. Sam Rayburn is a ninth grader, an acolyte and active in the Wednesday night program. Hazel Valentine is in fifth grade and sings in the children’s choir.

“All Saints has had a very positive effect on the lives of my family,” she said. “I love the sermons. They are always inspiring. Church should help you get through the week. As my children have gotten older, they have also come to understand the lessons we get in the sermons.” Among the lessons she values most are that we are not here to judge other people and that it is important to help those who are less fortunate than we are.

Teri began attending All Saints during the George Regas years, after moving to La Cañada. She was looking for a place to volunteer to help people in need. “I checked out some organizations in La Cañada, but they tended to keep their money in the local community and the people in La Cañada aren’t really in need,” said Teri.

At All Saints she found a rich variety of ministries to support. She donated some women’s toiletries left over from a Girl Scout project to the Women’s Community and was recruited to serve on the steering committee. That was perfect for a busy mother, because the steering committee meetings coincided with the Wednesday youth programs.

“Our church has so many ministries to people in need,” Teri explained, “and I really trust the staff to see that the money we give is going to the right places. There are a lot of organizations doing charitable work, but you don’t always know who is behind them and how the money is spent. I trust that ASC will not spend money unwisely.”

Donating money, as well as time, to All Saints is something that has increased for Teri over the years.

“I always gave when I could,” she explained, but she didn’t pledge in the early years when she was a caterer with a struggling restaurant. “I was afraid that if I made a pledge that I would find my kitchen staff staring at me, saying ‘What do you mean we can’t cash our paychecks?’ ”

When she, her husband and a third business partner began their current company, The Perfect Bite Co, Teri said she decided she needed to take the leap of faith and pledge 10 percent of her income to support the work at All Saints. “It was the right thing for me to do,” she explained. “It is a balance in my life. The company has thrived and I really feel like we are doing well so that we can help other people.”

Growing out of Teri’s wildly popular pastry kisses, The Perfect Bite Co now provides a wide selection of fresh and frozen foods to markets and specialty stores such as Gelson’s and Williams-Sonoma. It makes private label products for markets nationwide and also distributes products under its own labels.

Parishioners have sampled some of Teri’s food at the annual Lunch of Compassion, which raises money for a different charity each year. It was originally a simple lunch of rice and beans, but Teri has expanded the menu a bit since she began donating all the food three years ago. “We still have the simple dishes and some vegan dishes, but I also include a few meat dishes,” she said. Because she donates the food, all the proceeds from the lunch can go to the charity.

Teri is also committed to seeking out new people, inviting them to All Saints and getting them connected to various ministries. “I’m famous for bringing Charlie Rahilly (our current Senior Warden) to the church,” she laughed. “It’s a big church and sometimes people find it hard to get involved. I want to help them find a place where they fit in.”

# # #

Your pledge makes it possible for All Saints to live the vision through the beauty of worship and the challenge of spiritual growth, through a wealth of stimulating and educational programs, and through outreach efforts to the parish, the community and the world at large. Pledge online at or use the pledge card in the pew.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Regas protests "war as the primary instrument of our national policy"

[As reported by Pat McCaughan in "The Episcopal News."]

Singing "we shall overcome," the Rev. Canon George Regas and more than a dozen other anti-war protestors were arrested Oct. 7 in front of the Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles after rallying against the war in Afghanistan.

Regas, rector emeritus of All Saints, Pasadena, and other clergy and faith leaders in vestments led the group, praying, chanting and singing, from La Placita past Los Angeles City Hall. He and others called for an end to the war and for the government to create jobs and to assist the poor.

Noting that the Afghanistan war is the longest running conflict in U.S. history, accounting for the deaths of more than 1,700 soldiers, Regas said: "War versus jobs is a concept that really resonates with the American public.

"We just want to hold up the concept that America must choose between a life of for all of its people, jobs for people, health care for people, taking care of the poor and the children as a priority -- that has a greater claim on us than the perpetuation of America as using war as the primary instrument of a national policy.

"America is waking up to the fact that the enormous war machine trying to have dominance across the globe is a very costly reality as the country struggles to take care of the children and the poor and the unemployed. We want to do everything we can to nurture that growing dream of a country that puts the life of its people and the health and wellbeing and education of all its people above the use of instrument of war to accomplish whatever it is that we're trying to accomplish with our militarism."

Friday, October 7, 2011

"Jobs Not War" -- Los Angeles Peace Protest on 10th Anniversay of War in Afghanistan

"We were created to work, not to war. God, make us patriots of your peace." The Reverend Carissa Baldwin-McGinnis at the La Placita prayer service before the peace march
All Saints members were among those marking the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan by demonstrating in Los Angeles for peace and jobs instead of war and violence. The event, sponsored by ICUJP (Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace) drew several hundred protesters and ended with acts of civil disobedience by a number of religious leaders, including All Saints rector emeritus George Regas.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Shine: Celebrating National Coming Out Day

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 7 - 10 p.m.
Shine: Celebrating National Coming Out Day
St. Luke's Episcopal Church
252 East 7th Street, Long Beach 90813

Bishop Suffragan Mary Glasspool will preside and preach. St. Luke's GLBT Ministry will provide a special reception after the service designed to continue a dialogue sparked by the evening of stories, music and prayer.

The service will feature four individuals of various ages and experience sharing their coming-out stories, and how this experience has affected their spiritual journey ... including All Saints' own Vivian Varela.
Christopher Gravis, Minister of Music from St. Wilfrid's Church, Huntington Beach has assembled a choral ensemble from all over the Southland which will provide musical interludes.

New to this year's venue will be two banners designed for the event by award-winning photographer and visual artist Kurt Weston. Weston, legally blind due to AIDS-related illnesses, continues to have work featured in galleries and retrospectives across the United States.

Information: 562.436.4047

Jan Sanders: ASC Vestry Member & Pasadena Weekly "Cover Girl"

A 'Cloud' on the horizon
Pasadena embraces change as libraries everywhere enter the Electronic Age
By Christina Schweighofer

Jan Sanders has had her kindle for a couple of years. She likes to use it when she travels. She just finished reading Bill Bryson’s “At Home: A Short History of Private Life.”

“It’s a funny book,” Sanders said recently, sitting in her office at the west end of Pasadena’s Central Library on Walnut Street. Sanders must know a good book when she finds one. She holds the post of the library’s director.

In the United States, consumers — like Jan Sanders — are increasingly picking up Kindles and Nooks, and they are reading books on iPads and computers. Sales of e-books already outnumber those of hard covers as well as those of paperbacks. How will public libraries fare in this environment? Does the fact that Google is scanning the world’s 130 million books mean the end of libraries? Will public libraries soon be obsolete?

Sanders, who speaks with a strong, confident voice, does not hesitate when answering such questions. “I do not see the demise of public libraries because of electronic books,” she said. “We are about reading, not about the format.”

Sanders embraces digitization, believing that the e-book is the library format of the future. The statistics support Sanders’ theory. Pasadena’s libraries are seeing usage of e-books increase at a rateof 30 percent per month.

Read the rest here ... and give thanks for visionary leaders like Jan Sanders who are helping imagine both All Saints Church and the City of Pasadena into the future!

All Saints Joins Amnesty International Call for Prison Reform

Amnesty International calls for urgent reforms to California security housing units as prison hunger strike resumes

Virginia Classick, All Saints Peace & Justice Vestry Chair and ASC member Peter Laarman both participated in an October 4th press conference at West Hollywood City Hall, in the hope of bringing attention to the humanitarian crisis that is happening in California state prisons as a result of the second hunger strike.

One of our actions on Sunday will be a letter to Governor Brown asking for his immediate intervention. Yesterday Amnesty International issued a powerful statement about the hunger strike and how inmates participating in the hunger strike are being treated.

Read the statement here ... and stop by the Action Table on the lawn this Sunday to add your voice to those speaking out against the inhumane treatment in our prisons.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

TOM HAYDEN in the Rector's Forum: Sunday, October 9

In the midst of rising outrage over the state of the economy and a paralyzed-by-polarity congress do you wonder if a viable peace movement possible?
Does the fact that Friday, October 7th marks the 10th anniversary of our war in Afghanistan boggle your mind?

Then you will want to be in the Rector’s Forum on Sunday -- because former state senator and leader of sixties peace, justice and environmental movements, Tom Hayden has not lost heart. Come welcome him back to All Saints and hear his thoughts on ending what he calls “the unwinnable, unaffordable and unnecessary war” in Afghanistan.

Copies of his books will be available.
For more information email the Rector's office or call 626.583.2711

Sunday, October 2, 2011

All creatures great and small ... and everyone in between!

It was the annual "Blessing of the Animals" Day at All Saints Church this morning. Here's just a sampling of the wonderfulness:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

War of the Worldviews: Science versus Spirituality @ All Saints Church

KCET, Live Talks Los Angeles, with co-presenting media sponsors KCET & KPCC, presents bestselling authors Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow ... who first met in a televised Caltech debate on "the future of God." One is an articulate advocate for spirituality, the other a prominent physicist. Their book War of the Worldviews: Science versus Spirituality is the product of that serendipitous encounter and the contentious-but-respectful clash that grew into the friendship between these two great thinkers.

See them live as they probe the fundamental questions that define the human experience:
  • How did the universe emerge?
  • What is the nature of time?
  • What is life?
  • What makes us human?
  • What is the connection between mind and brain?
Journalist Patt Morrison moderates.
More information here, and $20 tickets here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Preachers, choose your words wisely" [L.A. Times Editorial]

On 'Pulpit Freedom Sunday,' churches should remember that their tax-exempt status prohibits them from politicking. And the IRS should enforce that law.

September 29, 2011

On Sunday, hundreds of preachers are expected to celebrate something called "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" by sermonizing about the moral qualifications of candidates for public office. The event is organized by the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal organization. The alliance is offering legal representation to clergy whose remarks might run afoul of the prohibition of politicking by churches. It's a challenge the Internal Revenue Service should take seriously.

Under the law, not only churches but other so-called 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations must not "participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office." The restriction, which dates back to the 1950s, is based on a sound principle: that organizations characterizing themselves as charitable and receiving a government benefit should refrain from election activity.

For some religious conservatives, this policy isn't just unwise; it's unconstitutional. But tax exemption isn't a constitutional right. It's the creation of Congress, which has the right to attach conditions to that benefit. Put another way, churches may have a 1st Amendment right to comment on elections, but they don't have the right to a tax exemption.

Two other criticisms concern the way the IRS enforces the restriction on politics in the pulpit. One is that the agency's policing of political preaching is so lackadaisical that the effort isn't worthwhile. But that picture is belied by statistics provided by the IRS. In the 2006 election cycle, the last for which the agency has published data, it received 237 referrals and selected 100 (44 churches, 56 non-churches) for examination, finding political activity in 26 cases.

The other criticism is that IRS enforcement has been subjective and sometimes politically motivated. Consider the inquiry into an antiwar sermon preached in 2004 at the All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena. In the sermon, the church's former rector presented a scenario in which Jesus participates in a debate with George W. Bush and John F. Kerry. The preacher didn't endorse either candidate but said that Jesus would have told Bush that his war strategy in Iraq "has led to disaster." In 2005, the IRS wrote the church that its tax exemption was in jeopardy; in 2007, the agency closed the investigation but continued to maintain that the sermon was illegal.

The ambiguous outcome of the Pasadena case suggests that the IRS needs to be more precise in its criteria for continuing with an investigation. The sermon in that instance may have gone right up to the line, but there is a line, and it divides criticism of candidates' policies from opposition to their election.

With the 2012 election season already in progress, the IRS needs to remind the participants in "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" that the law will be enforced — in a measured and consistent way.

Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times

Monday, September 26, 2011

When Religion Becomes Lethal

with Professor Charles Kimball

We are delighted to welcome Professor Charles Kimball to the All Saints Rector's Forum. An ordained Baptist minister and Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Kimball holds a PhD in Comparative Religious Studies from Harvard with a specialization in Islamic Studies.

For the last 25 years he has consulted with Congress, the White House and the State Department and blogged for the Huffington Post. His latest book, When Religion Becomes Lethal: The Explosive Mix of Politics and Religion in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, examines the ways in which religion can bring out the best and the worst in us.

Kimball’s life-long commitment is to helping find constructive ways to move forward in our interconnected, interdependent world community. His message is both timely and compelling -- come be informed and inspired!

Copies of his book will be available.
Sunday | October 2nd | 10:15 a.m.| in the All Saints Forum
For more information contact The Rector's Office or call 626.583.2711

October 2nd is Blessing of the Animals Day @ All Saints Church!

Bring Your Pets to Church for a Blessing! 9:00 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 2. Please bring your pets, photos of your pets, or even a stuffed animal. All pets are invited to process in the Church and then adjourn to the outdoor worship service on the quad lawn -- including a blessing of animals -- for our annual celebration of St. Francis Day.
Please arrive no later than 8:45 a.m. if you would like to participate in the procession.
[Here's a look at last year's fabulous St. Francis Day Celebration!]

Celebration of Ministries 2011: THE BEST EVER!

Some photos from Sunday's Celebration of Ministries -- and tribute to Anne Breck Peterson on her retirement after 33 years on staff at All Saints Church. (You can watch her sermon -- Finding Fearlessness and Fun on Life's Journey -- on the All Saints website.) With thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make this year's celebration such a success!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A foretaste of the heavenly Celebration of Ministries Banquet

Tomorrow the lawn at All Saints Church will be teaming with energy, color, banners, brochures and ministry leaders for the annual Celebration of Ministries Sunday -- where forty-six tables representing over sixty ministries will be outward and visible signs of the many ways All Saints works to make God's love tangible 24/7.

This is what it looked like "backstage" at All Saints Church today as our amazing custodial team worked to set up the infrastructure for the tomorrow's celebration.

Whoever you are and wherever you find yourself on the journey of faith there's a ministry with YOUR name on it at All Saints Church! And tomorrow is the day to come find out what it is!