Monday, January 31, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Saint @ All Saints: Roy Bourgeois in the Rector's Forum

Courage, perseverance, and a life-long dedication to peacemaking combine in one of life’s recipes for fulfillment. Sunday we have a unique opportunity to learn firsthand from someone whose courageous convictions and awakened conscience have called thousands of people to stand for peacemaking and against war and torture. I want each of you to be exposed to the heart and mind of a living saint, Father Roy Bourgeois.

Here is a native of Louisiana who volunteered to fight in Vietnam as a Navy officer, who after being awarded the Purple Heart, dedicated the rest of his life as a peacemaker extraordinaire. He has spent over four year’s worth of nights in jail protesting war and torture.

After the rape and torture in El Salvador of four Roman Catholic nuns who were friends of his, the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero, and the massacre of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in 1989, he learned that numerous leaders and killers responsible for the atrocities in Latin America had been trained at the School of the Americas in Ft Benning, Georgia. He has dedicated his life ever since to closing that school and bringing an end to torture.

Our life together at All Saints focuses on making sure that life for those who do not go to church here is better because of us who do go to church here. Come learn about the long-haul spirituality and courageous faith in action of someone who embodies the radical love of God for everyone. Bring friends and guests to the Rector’s Forum this Sunday, January 30 at 10:15 am. If you cannot join us at church, please watch the video stream live on Sunday morning.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Amy Brenneman and Bradley Whitford bring "The Gay Marriage Plays" to the Rector's Forum January 23rd

Amy Brenneman and Bradley Whitford, like other ASC members in the acting profession, put their faith into action. Fantastic actors, passionate supporters of their church, they also care deeply about justice, peace, and inclusion and look for every opportunity to work for social transformation.

This Sunday, January 23rd, Amy and Bradley come to the Rector’s Forum to support the Civil Rights issue of marriage equality. They will talk to us about STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS. Created in response to the on-going struggle for marriage equality throughout the United States, the program is a series of short plays that look at the institution of marriage and relationships.

Insightful, funny, and heartwarming, the plays, are testimony to the struggle for commitment, compassion and humor for all people who work through any committed relationship. After two sold out benefits earlier this year with the New York Theatre Workshop and at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, STANDING ON CEREMONY is now playing at the Coronet Theater in Los Angeles.

We at All Saints Church are proud to have been in the forefront of the marriage equality movement and Sunday’s Forum will be another opportunity for us to gather as a community to recommit ourselves to that important work.

I hope you will bring friends for a Rector’s Forum filled with great acting, fun, and recommitment to a crucial justice issue of our time. This Sunday, January 23, 10:15 a.m. If you cannot join us at church, please watch the video stream live on Sunday morning.

Amy Brenneman is widely known as the creator, executive producer, and star of the TV series Judging Amy, in which she portrayed a Family Court Judge. Earlier she played Janice Licalsi on N.Y.P.D. Blue. Amy currently plays psychiatrist Violet Turner on Private Practice. While getting her degree in Comparative Religions at Harvard she founded Cornerstone Theater Company, integrating local townspeople with professional actors. In addition to working in film and stage, Amy has been in the forefront of pro-choice, gun control, and other social justice causes.

Best known for his role as Deputy White House Chief of Staff Josh Lyman on The West Wing, Brad Whitford has played Danny Tripp on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Eric Gordon in the film Billy Madison, and Dan Stark in the police buddy-comedy The Good Guys. He also starred recently on Broadway in Boeing-Boeing. A graduate of Wesleyan University and The Juilliard School, he has appeared several times on Real Time with Bill Maher. He is active in anti-death penalty and other justice causes, frequently honored by many organizations for his courageous social action.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"Martin Luther King Changed My Life"

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King Sunday is one of the most important Sundays of the All Saints church year. It is a day when in worship, in education, and in calls to action we focus on following Dr. King's example of living a life aligned with God's values of love, justice, peace and compassion.

On  Sunday, January 16th, we welcome to the Rector's Forum four of the most exemplary leaders at All Saints Church to mark MLK Sunday by sharing how the life, message, and values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's dream. have shaped their professional lives and how they live those values daily.

Greg Adams, Joe Henry, Zelda Kennedy, and Huey Merchant – a health care professional, a song writer/performer/producer, a priest, and a psychiatrist – live very different professional lives. Thousands of people admire and benefit from the work of this quartet. Each of these speakers has been shaped in his or her own way by Dr. King’s call to justice and peace and by Dr. King’s articulation that every human being lives in a web of mutuality and interconnectivity. All of them worship at All Saints.

Come be inspired by these four followers of Dr. King who will inspire you to align your life more to the contours of this contemporary prophet. Joe Henry will perform and join the others in telling stories about the impact of Dr. King. Bring friends at 10:15 a.m. to the Rector’s Forum.

If you cannot join us at church, watch the video stream live on Sunday morning.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tragedy in Tucson: A Statement from All Saints Rector Ed Bacon

Statement, Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Rev. Ed Bacon, Rector,
All Saints Church, Pasadena, CA

Our hearts are breaking over the victims of gun violence in Tucson, Arizona yesterday – those who were killed and the grief of their families and friends. We pray for the healing of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and all those who were wounded.

The United States has a shameful and painful legacy of the assassination of political leaders. The assassination attempt on the life of Representative Giffords highlights the current dysfunction of American political life and discourse, revealing the destruction carried in the heart of vitriolic polarization. Violent rhetoric and the dehumanization of public servants create an environment that both legitimates hatred and tempts unstable personalities to engage in violent acts. Language that “targets” opponents and places our adversaries on “hit lists” cannot be condoned.

Jesus wept over the soul of Jerusalem, a city that did not know the ways of peace. May we weep, pray, and work faithfully for the soul of the United States so that it may become a more perfect union and example of democratic tolerance and appreciation of difference of opinions.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Peter Dreier brings "A Tale of Two Cities" to the Rector's Forum

Sunday, January 9th 10:15 a.m.

I’ll never forget an “ah-ha! experience” I had during a speech three years ago.

Professor Peter Dreier was addressing the widening economic gap in Pasadena. He rested his entire moral argument on his understanding of Hebrew Scripture. Here was a distinguished Professor of Politics and director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College in Los Angeles, someone who for three decades had been involved in urban policy as a scholar, a government official, a journalist, and an advocate for reform. Here was a lay person who worships regularly in his synagogue with his wife and twin daughters, recalling that his own Jewish tradition (which constitutes the moral foundation of Jesus' ministry) says it is immoral for people of means to turn their backs on people who are poor. Here was a lay person courageously calling for moral leadership and integrity based on what he had learned in his own faith community.

Now Professor Dreier has analyzed the U.S. Census Bureau data released last year. His analysis reveals startling news about Pasadena: the number of affluent residents is spiraling upward while the number of families with low and modest incomes is shrinking. The data reveal that Pasadena is one of the most unequal cities in California.

I hope that you will join me this coming Sunday, January 9, in the Rector’s Forum at 10:15 a.m. to hear this scholar who grounds his academic analysis in a dynamic understanding of the moral imperatives of his own Jewish tradition. I want you to join me in re-awakening to our own moral responsibilities as we begin our journey of 2011 in alignment with the values of Jesus.

Please come and bring friends. And if you cannot be with us on Sunday, watch the live video stream of the Forum here at 10:15.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Russell Ferrante & Bob Mintzer: Jazz Vespers ■ January 23 @ 5pm

The first All Saints Jazz Vespers of 2011 features two amazing musicians and founding members of the Yellowjackets: Russell Ferrante and Bob Mintzer.

All Saints parishioner Russell Ferrante's first exposure to music came from his church, where his father was the choir director as well as being a frequent vocal soloist and having a vocal gospel quartet. He began piano lessons at the age of 9 with the expectation that one day he would b the church pianist -- but his musical interests took him elsewhere ... writing and producing music for Bobby McFerrin, Michael Franks, Sadao Watanabe, Marilyn Scott, Eric Marinathan and Sergio Salvatore, among others.

Bob Mintzer is a household name usually associated with being a saxophonist, bass clarinetist, composer, arranger, member of a Grammy winning big band and a member of the Yellowjackets. Currently on the USC faculty, Mitzner's career has included the New York Philharmonic, the American Ballet Theatre and recordings with James Taylor, Aretha Franklin and Queen.

Join us at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 23rd on the All Saints chancel for what promises to be an extraordinary musical evening.

For more information, call 626.583.2725.

Monday, January 3, 2011


from Anne Breck Peterson, Senior Associate, Leadership, Liturgy and Small Groups

An image from the past year continues to reverberate in my soul--the executive who for two weeks dressed for work and drove to a park to sit on a bench, unable to break the news to his family that he had lost his job. I could identify with a part of what he was feeling. I find such affirmation and worth in what I do. It would be devastating to be forced to leave that sense of self, and embarrassing to admit to it, even to those who are closest to me.

Even if we have not lost our job, we have all lost something in the past year. Continued polarization in our country and in our leadership, continuing diminished economic capacity, with no end in sight—all this weighs on us. We have lost our enthusiasm, our sense of hopefulness.

Arianna Huffington, at the November 28th Rector’s Forum, spoke to the challenges confronting us. In answer to the question, “What can we do?” she suggested that we strengthen what brings us together and emphasize what’s working.

In response to meeting some of the needs of All Saints’ parishioners who have been impacted by the massive unemployment in the nation, plans for a new program “Life and Livelihood” are underway. The goal is to provide tools to cope with facing unemployment. This would include pastoral support, spiritual guidance in dealing with the depression of job loss, as well as the fundamentals of resumé building, networking and job seeking. Financial planning, volunteerism, reinventing one’s career, uses of social media, and community resources would be part of this program.

Gathering together over food is also a time honored method for lifting our collective spirits. Rector’s Forum speaker Laurie David (11/21) brought news of an alarming trend. Beginning in the 1980s families no longer gathered together for dinner—or if they did, it was in front of the television. Her book, The Family Dinner, cites the benefits to children in being with adults at the table. It gives simple recipes, conversational topics, and ways for people of all ages to be part of the preparation of the meal—even if it’s only one night a week. Downloads of ideas for these dinners are offered every Friday on The Huffington Post.

If you have no family living close by, consider the All Saints Family Dinner—a series of monthly potluck suppers beginning Friday, January 28. Bring your Exploring Membership Class, your pew mates, or just yourself, and your favorite dish. Gather at round tables in Sweetland Hall for conversation and fun. For more information or to be part of the planning, please contact me or Susan Russell.

In the midst of a crisis, it is easy to feel that we are the only ones who are experiencing disorientation or pain, and that we are alone. If we are part of a community, we are not alone. If we are part of a community, we need to claim it. If you or someone you know is suffering in some way or needs a helping hand, please reach out to a member of the staff by phone or email. If you do not know whom to call, begin with our friendly receptionist Stasia Dahlstrom, 636.796.1172, who will know how to direct you. Thank you in advance for helping make All Saints a Community.