Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Granito" and the Witness of Film

with Almudena Bernabeu

What do Robert Redford, Sundance Film Festival, Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Minchu, All Saints Church, and next Sunday’s Rector’s Forum Speaker have in common?

We all know the importance of a compelling documentary about each of us adding our own little grain of sand (Granito) to the life-long and global work of universal human rights.

All Saints and international human rights attorney, Almudena Bernabeu, became friends when she spoke at the Rector’s Forum about her work to convict the right hand man of the mastermind behind the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador. In addition to bringing to justice other perpetrators of crimes against humanity, Almu’s work has been featured in the documentary, Granito, describing her work in bringing to accountability former political and military leadership responsible for the genocide carried out against the Mayan people by the Guatemalan government.

Almudena Bernabeu is an International Attorney at the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) in San Francisco. Almudena is an attorney from Spain who has been working in the fields of human rights and private international law for the past decade. She has conducted numerous trainings for asylum lawyers and published several articles on reforms to Spanish asylum and refugee law She also researched and investigated cases heard by the European Court for Human Rights. She has a particular interest in the work of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture. She is a graduate of the Faculty of International Law, Universidad de Valencia, Spain.

Come and bring friends and family to view a portion of the documentary, Granito, and learn and be inspired by the presence of this energetic, brilliant, and courageous advocate for universal human rights, particularly in Latin America.
All Saints Rector's Forum | Sunday, April 3 @ 10:15 a.m. | 132 N. Euclid Ave. Pasadena 91101
For more information call 626.583.2711
To watch the live video steam, click here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lent Event 2011

The Lent Event is Launched! This morning James Carroll spoke to a packed Rector's Forum and preached at the 9 and 11:15 services. It was a great morning ... and if you missed any of it, here's a taste:

Carroll's sermon -- "God's Enemies?" -- is up on the ASC website here ... with the Rector's Forum video "coming soon."

And here are a few snapshots from the day. More as the event unfolds!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

L.A. Labor Rally: "Our Communities | Our Good Jobs"

Huffington Post report on today's Los Angeles Labor Rally ... including a photo with All Saints' Carissa Baldwin on the front line:


Friday, March 25, 2011

Belief Beyond Religion: Giving up Religion for Lent

Inspired by "Jerusalem, Jerusalem" -- James Carroll's new book about overcoming sacred violence -- this groundbreaking event brings together some of the 21st century's most creative thinkers to challenge and encourage us to explore belief beyond religion.

In addition to panel and plenary sessions, the two day event will include experiential opportunities calling us to engage the transcendent in new ways. Don't miss this extraord...inary opportunity to explore the life, freedom and Oneness of God in community and conversation.

James Carroll preaches at 9 & 11:15 and speaks in the Rector's Forum at 10:15
James Walker & Elizabeth Lenti offer an organ concert at 5pm
Evening plenary begins at 6:30 pm with James Carroll & Fr. Greg Boyle

5pm - Labyrinth, Zen Meditation & Centering Prayer Workshops
5:45 -- Small group discussions
7pm - James Carroll & Reza Aslan

$20 registration for both Sunday, March 27 & Monday March 28. For more information or to register visit the All Saints website: ... or call Norma Sigmund at 626-583-2734.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Life & Livelihood" in the Pasadena Star News

Free "Life & Livelihood" program offers emotional support, platform for unemployed
by Janette Williams

PASADENA - With a state unemployment rate still hovering above 10 percent, All Saints Episcopal Church Rector Ed Bacon did the math.

"If you take that figure, and we have 4,000 (parishioners) at All Saints, that means 400 are unemployed, or underemployed," Bacon said. "We have...people who have lost homes, lived in their cars for a while, moved in with relatives or friends, and we thought we ought to offer some kind of project to respond to the needs of our members, and those outside our membership."

The project they developed is Life & Livelihood, designed to support people dealing not just with the loss of a paycheck, but the loss of confidence and self-worth that often goes along with loss of a job, said Sharalyn Hamilton, Director of Stewardship.

"It was affirmed on the first day of the group - people feel a definite decrease in their self-worth, they feel a sense of needing to reinvent themselves without (having) a lot of support, retooling for a new job market, and finding themselves alienated from their own families," Hamilton said. "They often distance themselves. They don't call their mom because they don't want to burden her with how bad it feels."

As the project develops, Bacon said, they will "roll out educational offerings," including finding jobs, financial planning and managing household finances.

"We have a lot of different resources we're going to bring to bear," he said. "At this stage it's a support group, but we're actually letting those people teach us what needs are out there."

Unemployment affects all aspects of people's lives, Hamilton said, and for now the project provides a "safe base" to unburden and regroup.

"We want them to realize they're not alone," she said.

Read the rest here ... and for more infomation on Life & Livelihood, email Linn Vaughan.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Which Way America?" -- Chris Hedges returns to the Rector's Forum

As the economic crisis drags on, challenging many a hopeful view that all things are possible if one only works hard enough to achieve them, we are recalibrating a journey that may no longer include the American Dream. This Sunday Chris Hedges returns to the Rector’s Forum via Skype, asking us to face some unpleasant truths.

In his May 7 column on, Hedges sees the unrest in the Middle East, the implosion of national economies, the anger of a beleaguered working class, and the refusal to halt the destruction of the ecosystem as “the consequences of the idiocy of our elite and the folly of globalization.”

A new kind of leadership is required to reconfigure American society. In his interview, Ed Bacon will explore what has brought Hedges to this place, and where he finds hope in the face of such daunting challenges.

Hedges is the author of eight books, including the best-selling War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, and his newest, The Death of the Liberal Class. He is currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City. In 2002 he received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Lent Launched" at All Saints Church with Ash Wednesday services

The annual forty day Lenten journey to Easter began on Wednesday March 9 with three services attended by over 600 members of the All Saints community.

Visit the Lenten Toolkit Blog for reflections on the Gospel for each week during Lent.

And here are two of the sermons from yesterday: Susan Russell preaching at 12:10 p.m. and Ed Bacon (ably translated by Abel Lopez) at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

LIFE & LIVELIHOOD: Creating a Safe Space for Hope and Healing

In response to the economic challenges of what some are calling the "new normal," All Saints Church is launching a new ministry called "Life & Livelihood."
We all know deep down that doing good work is not the same as holding down a good job. Yet our culture still defines our human worth in terms of what we do for money. Now that the good jobs are growing so much scarcer, our faith communities must step up to help people recover their self respect in an environment that constantly degrades it. — Peter Laarman

Buried deep beneath the stories about executive bonuses, the stock market surge and the economy’s agonizingly slow road to recovery is the all-but-silent suffering of the many millions of Americans who, economically, are going down for the count. — Bob Herbert
The new "Life and Livelihood" ministry offers a safe space where people experiencing unemployment or underemployment can speak freely and find support on their journey. 

The first group will meet for six weeks beginning Tuesday, March 15, at 7:15 a.m. in the Seminar Room of Regas House and will be facilitated by Peter Laarman. Ordained in the United Church of Christ, Peter spent 15 years as a labor movement strategist and communications specialist prior to training for the ministry.

Click here to read Peter's February "Saints Alive" article on Life & Livelihood.

To register or for more information
call 626.583.2744 or email