Monday, September 16, 2013

New Blog Launched: ASC Ideas

All Saints Church entered a new "blog era" with the launch of ASC Ideas in September 2013 ... an interactive blog site designed to help us in the work of making God's love tangible 24/7.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The "NALT Christians Project" comes to @ASCpas

It's the brainchild of Dan Savage of "It Gets Better" fame -- a series of videos launched on a platform designed to give voice to Christians who keep explaining that we're "not all like that" in response to the rabid rhetoric of the religious right ... the Pat Robertsons, Michele Bachmanns and Jerry Falwells. And Susan Russell jumped on the bandwagon this afternoon with this short video.

Check out the project here ... and consider loading up your OWN witness to God's inclusive love. Seriously. We did this one in five minutes with one take. You've got your stories to tell ... and Dan Savage is giving us a platform to tell them. Ready. Set. GO!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

LET FREEDOM RING! All Saints Marks 50th Anniversary of "I Have A Dream"

At 12 noon on August 28, 2013 All Saints Church in Pasadena joined with those across the nation ringing bells to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic "I Have A Dream" speech.

Thanks to all who stepped up on a moment's notice and made freedom ring!

Zelda Kennedy ... closing the bell ringing with prayer ... and let the people say: AMEN!

Monday, August 26, 2013

ASC September Preaching Line Up!

September 1 | Janine Schenone -- "Entertaining Angels"

September 8 | Jon Dephouse - "Temple Run"

September 15 | Ed Bacon -- Homecoming Sunday

September 22 | Gene Robinson -- Celebration of Ministries Sunday

September 29 | Ed Bacon -- Blessing of the Animals

For more information visit the All Saints website

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hannah's Blanket: A Theology of Transitional Objects

We are delighted to welcome Timothy Safford -- Rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia and former All Saints staff member – back to Pasadena for a very special Summer Sunday Forum presentation: Sunday, August 25 during the education hour. (10:15-11:00 a.m.)

Tim will explore the “theology of transitional objects” by sharing the spiritual journey of a baby blanket given to his daughter Hannah by the All Saints’ community – a baby blanket crocheted by parishioner Virginia Classick 16 years ago. Come prepared to be both informed and inspired by the always inspiring Tim Safford. Forum.

For directions/visitor info visit our website.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Reza Aslan Makes All Saints Preaching Debut: Sunday, July 21st

We are delighted to welcome our long time friend and interfaith ally Reza Aslan to the All Saints' pulpit. Here's what NPR's "Fresh Air" had to say about Reza Aslan and his new book: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth:
Writer and scholar Reza Aslan was 15 years old when he found Jesus. His secular Muslim family had fled to the U.S. from Iran, and Aslan's conversion was, in a sense, an adolescent's attempt to fit into American life and culture. "My parents were certainly surprised," Aslan tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

As Aslan got older, he began his studies in the history of Christianity, and he started to lose faith. He came to the realization that Jesus of Nazareth was quite different from the Messiah he'd been introduced to at church. "I became very angry," he says. "I became resentful. I turned away from Christianity. I began to really reject the concept of Christ."

But Aslan continued his Christian scholarship, and he found that he was increasingly interested in Jesus as a historical figure. The result is his new book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth — a historical look at Jesus in the context of his time and Jewish religion, and against the backdrop of the Roman Empire.

Reza Aslan will preach on Sunday, July 21 at 9:00 and 11:15 a.m.
He will also speak about his book during the Adult Ed Hour (10:15 -11:00) in the Forum.

Books will be available for sale and for signing in the Forum and on the lawn after the 11:15 service.

Can’t join us in person? Watch the video streaming live here from the 11:15 service

Reza Aslan in the news...

-- Washington Post, July 15, Excerpt: WhatCan We Know About Jesus

-- Publishers Weekly Picks, July 15, Booksfor week of July 15

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"God Loves Uganda" @Outfest | July 16

All Saints Church, Pasadena is proud to announce their partnership with 2013 Outfest Los Angeles this year to screen "God Loves Uganda" on July 16th at 7:00 PM in DGA 1. To purchase a ticket to the screening, please visit the Outfest website or call 213-480-7065. If you mention you are part of All Saints Church, Pasadena, you get $1 off your ticket purchase.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Marriage and Weddings @ All Saints Church

"The truth is that when gay people share in the freedom to marry, it makes families stronger, which makes communities, states and our nation stronger. I am confident that here at All Saints Church in Pasadena it has made our church stronger." — Ed Bacon

On June 26, 2013 the Supreme Court issued rulings that upheld the repeal of California’s Proposition 8 and ended federal discrimination against same-sex marriages.  Two days later the 9th U.S. Circuit Court lifted its ban on same-sex marriages, returning marriage equality to California. Rejoicing in these decisions, All Saints Church is delighted to provide the following information on our policies on marriage and weddings.

What is the policy on marriage at All Saints Church?

At All Saints Church we understand Holy Matrimony to be a physical and spiritual union, entered into within the community of faith, by mutual consent of heart, mind and will, and with intent that it be life-long.  We are committed to treating equally all couples presenting themselves for the rite of marriage. Our commitment to the sacrament of marriage being celebrated within the community of faith informs our policy of offering weddings for members of the parish.

Does the Supreme Court decision overturning Proposition 8 mean that All Saints will go back to signing marriage certificates?

Yes. In June 2009 the Vestry of All Saints Church unanimously passed a marriage resolution stating that All Saints clergy will not sign civil marriage certificates for any couples until the right to civil marriage is available to all couples. Now that the ban has been lifted we will return to blessing and protecting all marriages equally.

If we want to get married at All Saints where do we start?

Typically, preparation for weddings at All Saints takes from 4 to 6 months, allowing time for scheduling and planning as well as for pre-marital counseling for couples with a member of our clergy staff.  For more information, to receive a wedding packet, or to begin planning your wedding, contact Stasia Dahlstrom at 626.796.1172 or

What if we already went through the pre-marital part when we had our blessing and now want to “make it legal” here at All Saints Church?

Given the dramatic events bringing marriage equality back to California and ending federal discrimination against same-sex couples there will be exceptions to our “typical” timeline.  These exceptions will be made on a case by case basis in consultation with a member of our clergy staff.  The place to start is still Stasia Dahlstrom, who will refer you to one of our clergy staff for consultation.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

All Saints Church Statement on Supreme Court Marriage Equality Rulings

At All Saints Church we rejoice that today the Supreme Court Justices ruled on the just side of history in affirming the dignity of LGBT families and affirming the reality that Prop 8 served no purpose other than to discriminate against gay couples -- thereby violating our Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

And by striking down Section 3 of DOMA, we celebrate the fact that thousands of married lesbian and gay couples – including the forty-six couples married  at All Saints in 2008 -- will be better able to protect one another and their children because they will no longer face legal federal discrimination and obstruction in their care for one another. 

“Today’s victory is a result of years of hard work by same-sex couples, their families, allies, and advocates to create the climate for the Court’s ruling,” said All Saints rector Ed Bacon. “All Saints Church has been privileged to be a partner in this struggle for justice and equality for over twenty years.”

“The truth is that when gay people share in the freedom to marry, it makes families stronger, which makes communities, states, and our nation stronger. I am confident that here at All Saints Church in Pasadena we know it has made our church stronger.”

When Proposition 8 passed in 2008, the vestry of All Saints Church unanimously adopted the following resolution:


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.

 Soon same-sex couples will be able to marry legally in 13 states and Washington, DC. More than 93 million Americans – nearly a third of the population – live in a jurisdiction with the freedom to marry.

Today we celebrate with those who now have the freedom to marry and we look forward to being able to offer both equal blessing and equal protection to the couples coming to us for marriage at All Saints Church.

Yet we know that the struggle for equality is far from over. We know that there are millions of others across the country who will still be treated as second-class citizens. And we know that today’s two steps forward on marriage equality come on the heels of yesterday’s one step back on voting rights. Therefore, we will continue to work with partners across the country until equality is a reality for every American as we live out God’s values of love, justice and compassion.


At 12:10pm on Wednesday, June 26 Ed Bacon will address the Supreme Court rulings in his sermon at the Noon Eucharist. All are welcome. Due to construction in the church building, the service will take place in the FORUM ... downstairs in Regas House.

132 North Euclid Avenue | Pasadena CA 91001

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

All Saints Church joins in outrage at Court ruling on Voting Rights Act

All Saints Church joins with all those outraged by today’s Supreme Court action striking down a central part of the Voting Rights Act. The sharply divided decision will significantly reduce the federal government’s role in overseeing voting laws in areas with a history of discrimination against African-Americans and turns back the clock on the fight to end discrimination in our nation.

“What this ruling means is that states and localities previously covered by Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act will now be able to implement changes first and victims will have to prove discrimination after the fact,” said All Saints’ rector Ed Bacon. “The sad truth is that as a nation we still have roadblocks designed to obstruct citizens of color from voting with ease and so we still need the checks and balances the Supreme Court removed this morning."

 The court has done America a grave disservice in casting aside voting rights protections – which have long served our nation’s commitment to equality and justice. It is a self-evident reality that racial protections are still needed in voting in this country. As recently as last year’s elections, political partisans resorted to voter suppression laws and tactics aimed at reducing the votes of people of color.

In the days and weeks ahead we will work with our justice allies to stand up, to speak out and to redouble our commitment to equality by calling on Congress to act to undo the damage inflicted by this regressive ruling.

Monday, June 24, 2013

No sorrow is as strong as love remembered

Click here for more info on Jazz Vespers at All Saints Church

"No sorrow is as strong as love remembered"
A Meditation for Jazz Vespers | Sunday, June 23, 2013 | All Saints Church, Pasadena | by Susan Russell

It is an awesome privilege to be called to offer what is essentially the spoken “set” in this evening of amazing musicianship and holy inspiration.

I knew I wanted to talk about the intersection between story and song and struggle. I knew I wanted to weave in some threads of healing and hope. And I knew I didn’t want to talk very long so we could all get back to the music.

Not sure where to start, I turned where I turn again and again for inspiration – to the writings of the always inspirational author, poet and bishop Steven Charleston … and there I found the piece Hilda just read.

And I knew I’d found what I needed to hear when I read:

No sorrow is as strong
as love remembered,
no fear as powerful
as hope reclaimed.

These are words that resonate deep down in the marrow of my lived experience of simultaneously holding the pain of deep sorrow and the joy of new hope.

They call out in my ears the music of Rosanne Cash singing that “God is in the roses and in the thorns.” And they tap not only into the personal loss of love remembered but the institutional challenge of hearing hope’s whisper over the culture’s shout of “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

Listen. Can you hope’s whisper in the words of Bishop Charleston?

You are not weak before what confronts you,
but surrounded by a deep reserve of strength,
drawn up from every small moment
when goodness shaped your life,
when the presence of God
was as real as the touch of a comforting hand,
when life made sense
because it sang you to sleep
in the peace of an unassailable innocence.

This what Ed Bacon talks about when he calls us to “reverse our amnesia” – to see beyond the challenges of the moment to the hope of the future – to call upon the deep reserve of strength to challenge anything that tells us we are less than who we were created to be – beloved of God beyond our wildest imaginings and called to love all God’s beloved equally in return.

Steven Charleston’s words remind me of other words – words of Marianne Williamson – words so powerful they were quoted by Nelson Mandela in his Inauguration speech in 1994:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
And therein, as they say, lies the rub. In order to liberate others we must be liberated from our own fear. And Steven Charleston, it turns out, “has an app for that” in these words:

The happiness you have known
is the host of angels on whom you now can call.
Ignore the night
and see instead the countless stars
that have guided you safe this far.

Ignore the night. See the stars. Follow the light. Be the change you want to see.

Tonight I knew I wanted to talk about the intersection between story and song and struggle. I knew I wanted to weave in some threads of healing and hope. And I knew I didn’t want to talk very long so we could all get back to the music.

And so I want to close with a reading from the Gospel – The Gospel According to Christina Honchell:
Jazz is God’s chosen music, because God is the greatest of all improvisers. Consider the Genesis creation story: God had an idea, a theme, a place to start and maybe a place to end, but the “getting there” is improvised.

God is tinkering with creation throughout the scriptures and through the Holy Spirit to this day and beyond.

Our God is a God who frustrates the designs of the nations, defeats the plans of the peoples – creation is still being improvised.

Like creation, the best jazz is often unfinished, open to co-creation, shot with contest and dialogue.

We need to learn to improvise. I am not interested in a religious practice or experience that is the same every time – I want to be surprised, to not know where a spiritual path may lead, to have spiritual discipline and also to be open to what happens when two or more “players” go off on an improvisational journey to God knows where.

That’s where the “aha” moments in religion come from – not from a faith that is predictable, rigid, static and steeped in fear.

Like jazz, healthy religion is not for control freaks – it unleashes sensibilities that cut against the grain of hierarchies and elites. It is about joy and energy and liberation.
[Here endeth the reading from the Gospel]

It IS about joy and energy and liberation And liberated from our fears our presence automatically liberates others.

May this evening of God’s chosen music liberate us to go out into a world in desperate need of liberation to be beacons of God’s love and justice and compassion.

And may we be given the grace to claim the promise that

No sorrow is as strong as love remembered,
and no fear as powerful as hope reclaimed.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

From Despair to Hope: Connecting the Dots Between Gangs & Violent Extremism

This timely event will feature a diverse panel of experts, including Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries, and Dr. Maher Hathout, MPAC’s Senior Adviser, in a conversation about the commonalities and solutions of keeping youth from joining violent gangs and from turning to violent extremism
  • Father Greg Boyle, Founder of Homeboy Industries
  • Dr. Maher Hathout, MPAC’s Senior Adviser
  • Edina Lekovic, MPAC’s Director of Policy and Programming
  • Mikala Rahn, Ph.D., Founder of Learning Works Charter School
  • Dr. Eric Walsh, Pasadena Director of Public Health
WHEN: Sunday, June 30, from 6-8 p.m.
WHERE: All Saints Church | 132 N. Euclid Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

“Child care will be provided.  Please reserve a space for your child by calling 626-583-2781.”

And yes ... we do plan to live stream the event -- if you can't be here in person, visit the All Saints website for the live stream link. For more information call 626.796.1172 or email

Monday, June 3, 2013

Youth Sunday 2013 @ All Saints Church

It was a truly amazing Youth Sunday yesterday as we celebrated our youth choirs, prayed over our graduating seniors and listened to youth preachers at all our services.

Ed Bacon's charge to the preachers was to: "Grapple with the scripture texts appointed for today as well as to engage with one or more contemporary issues that the texts and their lives raised up in them for consideration."

And grapple they did. These gifted kids engaged with the stories of Ezekiel and Ahab and of Jesus healing the Centurion's servant and how they raised up for them issues of LGBT equality, the death penalty and immigration reform.

Olivia Mejia preached at the 7:30 a.m. service. "You all inspire me to achieve my full potential, challenge the norm, ask important questions, and help me find and strengthen my voice in following the example of Christ."

At 9:00am we heard Tori Dutcher-Brown: "When we allow ourselves to be set against each other, we are participating in our own destruction ... failing to achieve the love, change and compassion we so desire."

At 11:15am we heard Katy King: "Ever hear that 'the truth will set you free?' That's what real justice looks like -- having the humility to hear the truth and to let it set us free."

And at 1:00pm we heard Connor Smith: "As I've learned at All Saints, if we don't reject the evil of prejudice then we bear some responsiblity for how it manifests itself in ourselves and in our world."

Watch. Learn. Be inspired. And bookmark the links to these extraordinary kids to watch the next time you despair over the future. It's actually in pretty fabulous hands!

Monday, May 20, 2013

"The IRS Goes to Church" | November 2005

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pentecost 2013

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

PENTECOST PREACHER: Bishop Michael Curry!

We are delighted to welcome the Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry, Bishop of North Carolina to the All Saints Church pulpit as our very special Guest Pentecost Preacher -- Sunday, May 19, at the 9:00 & 11:15 a.m. services.
Can't join us in person? Watch the video streaming live from the 11:15 a.m. service here.

The IRS Goes to Church | Ed Bacon, November 2005

I enjoyed the hymn we just sang. Speaking of hymns I received an e-mail from someone in the UK who suggested that All Saints might like to learn the song, “When IRS eyes are smiling.”

The Internal Revenue Service has come to church. It has come to church here at All Saints. The IRS has focused on the sermon preached by Rector Emeritus, George Regas, from this pulpit the Sunday before the last Presidential election. The IRS claims that the sermon violated IRS regulations against campaign intervention despite the fact that George Regas explicitly stated that he was not advising anyone to vote for either presidential candidate. In fact he acknowledged that good people of deep faith would be voting for President Bush and good people of deep faith would be voting for Senator Kerry.

Since last June All Saints has been in conversation with the IRS about this matter. Our attorneys in a Washington, D.C. tax firm have been speaking on our behalf. The IRS offered to drop the inquiry if we would admit that we had violated the tax regulations and promised never to do so again. We refused on the grounds that All Saints has done nothing wrong. Furthermore, over the years we have consistently worked within the IRS regulations – regulations we consider to be healthy for our democracy and which we believe protect the precious principles of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The case has now been taken from the level of the field office in Des Moines, Iowa to a regional investigator. We are awaiting their finding.

Long ago, God called All Saints Church to teach and preach Jesus’ core values of inclusion, of compassion, healing, environmental justice, peacemaking, and economic justice. This church invites everyone to embody those values in the political arena of life. This includes sometimes critiquing policies which violate those core values. We must always conduct our social action from a non-partisan perspective.
That is why we have criticized the policies of both President Bush and Senator Kerry. That is why we critique both the executive and the legislative branches of government for perpetuating this unjust, immoral war by their refusal to develop an exit strategy that brings an end to the killing of both Iraqi and American lives and the increase of terrorism in the Middle East and throughout the world at the price tag of more than 1 billion dollars a week. That is why we endorse the efforts of both Democratic Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey and Republican Congressman Walter Jones who have jointly called for the development of an exit strategy from Iraq. That is why we endorse the efforts of Senator John McCain to put an end to U.S. sponsored torture.

Our non-partisanship is a holy space from which we can without obligation or allegiance to any party or person bring the core values of our faith to bear on the institutions and culture around us remembering that faith without works is dead and that we are called to be doers of the Word not hearers only.

Faith in action is called politics. Spirituality without action is fruitless and social action without spirituality is heartless. We are boldly political without being partisan. Having a partisan-free place to stand liberates the religious patriot to see clearly, speak courageously, and act daringly.

All Saints is energetically resisting the IRS’s interpretation of the IRS regulations. The IRS is arguing that they can investigate a church based on a field officers' subjective determination that a preacher's sermon implicitly opposes or endorses candidates, regardless of the explicit statements of the preacher.

This means that any sermon which states a church's core values, when proclaimed during an election season, can be subjectively deemed to be campaign intervention. If this IRS interpretation stands, that means that a preacher cannot speak boldly about the core values of his or her faith community without fear of governmental recrimination. And in our case, that means that a preacher cannot without fear of governmental recrimination speak boldly about the value of promoting peace if the nation happens to be at war during an election season. But the Bible tells us to preach the Word in season and out of season and the last time I checked the original Greek text there was no exception for the election season. (2 Thessalonians 4: 2)

There is no season when a believer should refrain from calling the government to develop an exit strategy from an immoral war which has now taken the lives of over 2,000 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis, and which rewards corporations no-bid contracts without any accountability, takes away civil liberties, sets up ghost torture centers, sets Christian against Muslim, and, paired with tax cuts for the super wealthy, steals food from the poor and steals schools and health-care from children.

No wonder we at All Saints have this week received a surprising outpouring of solidarity and support from a host of other believers across the dividing lines of the culture wars, support from Jews and Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus, from First Amendment lawyers and scholars, and from heads of secular non-profit and non-governmental organizations. An evangelical Christian radio show host told me during an interview Friday, “Pastor if they are coming for you today, they will be coming for us tomorrow.”

We are all remembering those dark days in history when religious people thought it was not spiritual to get involved in social action and politics and so remained quiet. A Christian Pastor, Martin Niemoeller, after he was released from Dachau, ended all of his sermons the following way, “First they came for the communists and I was not a communist and I didn’t speak up, then they came for the labor organizers and I was not a labor organizer and I didn’t speak up, and then they came for the Jews and I was not a Jew so I didn’t speak up, and then they came for me but there was no one left to speak up.”

In many ways I am grateful that the IRS has come to Church at All Saints because both people of faith and people who do not profess a belief are coming together to hold up something essential in a democracy – the separation of Church and State. There is something bigger at stake here than All Saints.

What is at stake is that precious, holy freedom from intimidation when religious leaders enter that sacred place called a pulpit. The only voice a preacher needs to be heeding when she or he is in the pulpit is the voice of God’s Spirit speaking to the human conscience and heart. In order for that mystical transaction to take place freely there must be no fear of incrimination that a value-filled sermon will be subjectively deemed to be a partisan-filled endorsement. I am grateful that the IRS has come to Church at All Saints so that we can express before the world without fear the principles of freedom of religion and freedom of speech. The IRS agents are welcome in our pews. They are not welcome in our pulpit.

Jesus told a great parable so applicable to this situation (Matthew 25: 14-29). It is a parable about the paralyzing effects of fear. It is a parable calling for love-based risk-taking rather than fear-based playing-it-safe. In Jesus’ story three people are given great sums of money to manage while a rich man is away on a journey. Two stewards took that with which they were entrusted and invested it so that they doubled the value of the sums they were given. The third dug a hole and buried the money in the ground which of course resulted in nothing gained. When the landowner returned he praised the first two and called the third worthless and lazy. The third played it safe with his gifts because he was afraid.

We have been given many gifts. We must not bury them, be quiet about them, or play it safe with them.

We have been given the gift of knowing God to be a loving God rather than a wrathful, punitive God. There is no need for fear in life because we know God to be a loving, forgiving, nurturing, and inclusive God rather than a condemning God.

There are two competing attitudes for the face of Christianity today. There is the attitude of inclusiveness, compassion, forgiveness, justice and peace rooted in the house of love rather than the house of fear. People who know this God are largely free, imaginative, courageous, risk-taking, and visionary. There is the competing attitude of punishment, condemnation, terrorism, and wrath.

People who fabricate a God like this are often adaptive and resentful who out of anxiety want a risk-free theology, a risk-free Church, and a risk-free society that will always guarantee their safety and security.

Jesus was familiar with these competing attitudes about God. In the first century, in the face of a punitive condemning Roman Empire and its occupation of Jesus’ homeland and in the face of religious leaders who had become the empire’s catechists, evangelists, and acolytes, always interested in drawing lines of division between rich and poor, sinner and righteous, gentile and Jew, male and female, slave and free, Jesus drew a circle of unconditional love that encircled them all.

 Jesus called people into community as we do here at All Saints and was constantly feeding them from the table of community, always bringing children into the center of the circle. That is why going to church is so important for us – to gather in the community that is based in love, not fear. Jesus was never afraid, never afraid to break down the dividing walls that oppressed the victims of imperialism in his day. No wonder people flocked to him, for in that force field there was joy, there was healing of old wounds, there was unconditional acceptance. There was a sense of whoever someone was and wherever they were on their journey, they were welcome. And Jesus was never afraid, never afraid to stand up to the religious and political elites.

We cannot bury this gift in the ground because of fear. We must risk this precious gift God has given us in our faith community. People of faith all over this country must risk this precious gift of God’s love so that all Americans can be free to express their conscience whether it agrees with our government or not. It is only in freedom that we can find the truth. And the truth is always a power that sets us free.

A second gift we have been given is what Jesus called neighbor-love. He said, “Love God with all your being and your neighbor as yourself.” And then he told another story illustrating that God’s definition of neighbor is not someone who lives in your zip code. Your neighbor is anyone who has been beaten and is lying in the ditch of life.

 Your neighbor is anyone who needs you to be neighbor to them. Your neighbor is a child in America underserved by our society. Your neighbor is a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay without due process. Your neighbor is someone in what is now known as "black sites" in Eastern Europe, where ghost detainees are subject to unknown interrogation methods. Your neighbor is a civilian in Falluja who is suffering from illegally dropped white phosphorous incendiary bombs. Your neighbor is someone in Darfur who is living in a refugee camp fearful of no food, fearful of being raped tonight, or fearful of helicopters swirling above.

Jesus went so far as to say that when you are neighbor to the least of these in the human family, you have done that act of mercy or justice or peace-making to Jesus himself – you have done it to God.

What a gift! We cannot bury that gift in the ground of fear just because the IRS has come to church.

The last gift I am going to mention is the gift the prophets gave us almost 3,000 years ago. It is the gift of speaking truth to power. The prophet Nathan said to the powerful King David, “You are the man.” Jeremiah and Isaiah and Amos and Hosea said to their rulers and the false prophets who were the chaplains for those rulers, “You must stop the injustice and violence and oppression in our land.” In our time in the 21st century you and I have been entrusted with this same gift of speaking truth to power.

What a gift! We cannot bury that gift in the ground just because the IRS has come to church. We must raise our voices without fear and with fierce tenacity until this war stops, until this torturing stops, until this genocide in Darfur stops.

We are happy that the IRS goes to church. We are happy to have the IRS go to church at All Saints Church. When the IRS comes to this church we want them to know that our mission is not so much to work to get to heaven, but to work to get heaven to earth. What we will resist with all our might are all infringements on freedom of speech and freedom of religion and any suggestion that we temper the proclamation of God as the God of love rather than the God of fear.

We will resist with all our might any efforts trying to prevent us from proclaiming the love of neighbor in season and out of season. And we will protest and resist any efforts of the government coming into the pulpits of our land with a call to reverse a 3,000-year-old prophetic vocation to speak truth to power.

In the words of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, today is a time for moral grandeur and spiritual audacity. Amen.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

American Muslim leaders outline an alternative to extremism

Creating a United Front Against Terrorism:
American Muslim leaders outline an alternative to extremism
with Dr. Maher Hathout and Salam Al-Marayati

Dr. Maher Hathout and Salam Al-Marayati are two of our nation’s most influential Muslim opinion leaders and long-time allies of All Saints Church in the work of justice and compassion. On Sunday, May 5th they will bring their wisdom to the Rector’s Forum as we explore together the challenges and opportunities facing American Muslims – and how we can partner with them in the work of countering religious extremism and radicalization.

“An unfortunate consequence of the Boston Marathon bombings has been that the sick words and deeds of a tiny, demented fringe of extremists—no more than .1% of Muslims overall—command vast public attention,” said Al-Marayati in a recent op-ed.

“It is time for us as American Muslims to provide an alternative to Muslim extremism; otherwise, we’ll be defined by it. And that alternative is the moderate voice, the voice for reform, for the theology of life that Islam stands for as opposed to the cult of death that extremists promote through their distortions of Islam in their ideology. As American Muslims, we can work in a united front with other Americans in leading our country out of the abyss of terrorism.”

How do we counter extremism by empowering the moderate mainstream voice of Muslims? And with so much discussion about radicalization of young Muslims, how we do we approach them with compassion and work with them for justice and mercy?  Don’t miss this important and timely Rector’s Forum.
Sunday, May 5, 2013 | 10:15 a.m. in the Forum | 132 North Euclid, Pasadena CA 91101 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Jim Wallis @ASC | Monday, April 29

Jim Wallis, CEO of Sojourners, is a bestselling author, public theologian, speaker, and international commentator on ethics and public life. Jim will be reading from his latest book, On God's Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn't Learned about Serving the Common Good. Books available for purchase and signing.

Location: Forum
Contact: Christina Honchell, (626) 583-2742 or

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ched Myers at All Saints Church | Saturday, April 27


On the Road to Emmaus:
Hearing the Prophetic Imperative to Transform Our Lives

with Ched Myers -- Biblical Scholar and Animator

Saturday, April 27 | 9am--1pm | in the Forum at All Saints Church
132 North Euclid Ave, Pasadena

In the continuing tradition of our previous Sabbath Economic studies, we'll explore the remarkable politics and theology within Luke 24:10-48. Two of Jesus’disciples—running scared and discouraged from Jerusalem after the death of their leader—encounter a stranger on the road to Emmaus. In their anxiety, we will encounter our own fear and trepidation at the nature of a world enslaved in violence, addictions and deadened conscience.

In their "hearts burning" we will be empowered by the revelation of God's liberating, non-violent, loving message found within the prophetic tradition. Join us as we move deeply within scripture to recover what our faith means in a world economically antithetical to God's Kingdom.

The day will include:
• Ched Myer's presentation sessions
• Small group sharing
• Books and study guides
• Follow up opportunities for action and reflection
• Community loaves and fishes lunch
• Sustainable World dessert

Please bring your lunch, Bible, and a $5 donation.
The Biblical Vision of Sabbath Economics by Ched Myers and Sabbath Economics: Household Practices by Matthew Colwell available for sale.

Please reserve in advance with Marty Coleman at 626-792-4941 or

Sponsored by:
Sustainable World, an economic justice ministry at All Saints Church, in partnership with:
• All Saints Church Peace & Justice Ministries, Francisco Garcia, Director
• All Saints Church Economic Justice Working Group
• Pasadena Mennonite Church
• Knox Presbyterian Church
Urban Village of Pasadena
• Progressive Christians Uniting, Reverend Peter Laarman, Executive Director

Monday, April 15, 2013

"On God's Side" with Jim Wallis at All Saints Church

Jim Wallis visits All Saints Church on Monday, April 29th with his newest book: "On God's Side."

"Blurbed" by Cornel West, Richard Rohr and Anne Lamott (among others) the book is a challenge to the nation to find "common ground" and build bridges across differences. Aligned with All Saints' core values of love, justice and compassion, Wallis is always a compelling speaker. Join us in the Forum on Monday evening, April 29th at 7:00 p.m. for an evening of information and inspiration.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursdays with Ed: Conversations in Community

This spring the rector’s schedule includes:

A time of spiritual retreat on the island of Iona in April;
An invitation in May from Sandy Hook Promise to be part of the Newtown, CT commitment “to truly honor the lives lost by turning tragedy into a moment of transformation” by ending gun violence;
The opportunity to be part of “The Contemplative Alliance” -- an emerging coalition committed to creating a strategic ‘Sacred Earth’ message that can be shared among the American public -- in June.

Plan now to be part of this series of conversations in community with Ed as he brings back to our parish family what he has learned and been inspired by in these experiences with our wider human family.

Thursday, April 18: The Power of Contemplation
Thursday, May 16: Nonviolent Responses to Gun Violence
Thursday, June 27: A New Narrative for Economic Justce & Sustainability

Sweetland Hall | 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. | Register at the Small Groups Table on the lawn on Sunday or on the All Saints website | For more information conact Ana Camacho by email or call 626-583-2737

Monday, April 8, 2013


by Stuart Horwitz

Most writers dream of the day they get to write their “Acknowledgments.” The Acknowledgments are that section in the back of the book that tells uninitiated readers just who helped a writer along the way. Part of the excitement in writing an Acknowledgments section is that it means the book has gone on to bigger things, that it actually will be in the hands of an uninitiated reader. Aside from that bit of ego, the exercise seems relatively harmless.

I sat down to write my Acknowledgments at an island cafe one afternoon anticipating a joyful experience. I also thought I might be finished in time for dinner. Several days and several drafts later I realized that acknowledging and appreciating others—practicing the Habit of Generosity as Rev. Ed Bacon terms it—is no easy task.

First, there are the people you have to put in versus the people you want to put in. It’s kind of like a holiday in that way. The people who deserve credit for their contributions to our lives and the people it is fun to give thanks for do not necessarily belong to the same subset of individuals. Yet it turned out to be critical to acknowledge both groups.

Next there are the gradations to consider, like “Who goes first?” “Who gets all caps?” Or, “How many exclamation points?” As an independent editor I end up in a lot of Acknowledgments sections. I have been guilty of flipping immediately to the back of a new book to see if my name is in there, and if it is, then in what relative position it is located or how many words surround it. This line of thinking sucks the joy out of receiving a finished product that took another individual years to complete. Such analysis also relativizes everyone’s offering, operating from a scarcity mentality that somehow there is not enough greatness to go around.

The Habit of Generosity, as I came to understand it from working with Ed, is the opposite of scarcity. Who came up with what line or idea is irrelevant—what matters is the relationship between people that provides the inspiration necessary to continue on with what can be challenging work. When I started focusing on the relationships that were generative for my writing, I began to play in an area of the Beloved that caused my pen to flow faster and faster, and I almost made it to the end.

What stopped me? Well, life, which as we know, is not “all good.” The names of individuals with whom I had recent conflict surfaced. What about giving credit where credit was due to an individual that I no longer worked with? How could I adequately describe her profound impact on my work given that we were barely on speaking terms?

Again the Habit of Generosity came to my rescue. It whispered that on my present plane such complications were real, while on the plane of the Beloved my former colleague’s contributions had been recorded in their most bright and shining incarnation. It was only for me to enter there; the door, as I think Jesus says somewhere, opened from my side.

During the writing of 8 Habits of Love, Ed would say to me, “The Beloved always ends in a party.” Well, since the Acknowledgments were the last section, I wanted my book to end in a party, too. Keeping the Habit of Generosity in mind, I ended up feeling like the host of a large gathering where you want to keep moving just to make sure that everyone feels comfortable.


Stuart Horwitz is the author of 'Blueprint Your Bestseller' (Penguin, 2013) and a noted expert on literary revision who assisted Ed Bacon in creating a sound structure for his book, "8 Habits of Love."  Stu is coming to All Saints to share his process on Wednesday, April 17th -- he is most excited about part two of his presentation that night when he gets to share the stage with Ed to discuss the ins and outs of editors and authors working together.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

"Good News to Share" from Ed Bacon

I wanted to share with you the good news that our friend and inspiration Archbishop Desmond Tutu (pictured here during his February 2011 visit to Pasadena) has been awarded the $1.7 million 2013 Templeton Prize for "helping inspire people around the world by promoting forgiveness and justice."

I also want to share this email exchange I had with him in response to the prize announcement and invite you to join with me in giving thanks for the prophetic ministry of Archbishop Tutu and the privilege of partnering with him in the work of making God’s love tangible 24/7 here at All Saints Church!
My dear brother, father, and friend,

Congratulations on receiving the Templeton Prize. It is so richly deserved and will no doubt send ripples of grace, justice, and nonviolence into the world again from your prayerful heart, soul, and mind. Let us at All Saints know if you need anything for your ministry.

Blessings and love always,
And I received in return this note from "the Arch:"
Kosher Bacon,

Thank you and all at All Saints. This belongs to us all. I stand out only because you all carry me on your shoulders. Thank you for partnering with us over these many years and giving us so much refreshment.

Much love …

Prop 8, DOMA, and the Arc of Justice: A Progressive Christian look at the Marriage Equality Cases

Justice Scalia referred to the fact that nine states have now approved same-sex marriage as a “sea change.” By this summer we will see if the Supreme Court is moving with the arc of the universe as it bends toward justice. The Court will decide whether or not the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the US constitution in prohibiting federal government recognition of same-sex marriages that are sanctioned by states. It will also decide if California’s Proposition 8 violates the US constitution because it discriminates against lesbians and gays by prohibiting same-sex marriage.

In the meantime come to the Rector’s Forum this Sunday for insights and analysis from Albert Giang and Linda Burrow, attorneys at the law firm of Caldwell, Leslie & Proctor, which has been heavily involved in marriage equality litigation, including filing numerous briefs in the Prop 8 case. Don’t miss this discussion of Proposition 8 and DOMA—how we got to the point and where it might be going next.

Susan Russell will preach at the 7:30, 9:00 and 11:15 a.m. services on Without a Doubt. Francisco Garcia preaches at the 1:00 p.m. Spanish/English service.

If you can't be with us in person, join in via live stream from the All Saints website.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ed Bacon on Marriage Equality

Statement from All Saints' rector Ed Bacon on Supreme Court Marriage Equality cases:

I have been blessing same-sex unions for almost 18 years and during the weeks we in California could marry same-sex couples I enthusiastically and joyfully officiated over many. These experiences with same-sex families have been filled with God’s blessings and an inspiring incident of seeing the fruit of the Spirit present in these families.

I’ll never forget two men I married after they had been living in fidelity and mutual love for more than 26 years. I asked them why they wanted after all these years to get married in the church. One said, “After all these years we have seen our love for one another grow not diminish. We came to the conclusion that the two of us could not manufacture that love that brims over every day. We concluded that our love had to be coming from God.”

I’m praying that the Supreme Court declares bigoted anti-gay marriage laws unconstitutional.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Standing for Marriage Equality: Faith in Action 3/24/2013

All Saints Church is proud to have been in the forefront of the struggle for marriage equality in the State of California just as we have been in the forefront of LGBT equality in the Episcopal Church. From the first blessing of a same-sex union in 1992 to the formation of the Beyond Inclusion ministry in 1997 to the work of Claiming the Blessing beginning in 2002, All Saints Church has been committed to both equal protection and equal blessing for LGBT children of God.

As we look ahead with a hopeful spirit to the Supreme Court oral arguments on two marriage equality cases this week -- and to a decision coming in the weeks ahead -- we are deeply aware of the powerful shift in public opinion on marriage equality and of the critically important role voices of faith have had in changing hearts and minds.

And we are proud to be part of an Episcopal Church taking a strong stand against DOMA at our last General Convention and grateful for the work and witness for inclusion across the church and country.

On Sunday, March 24th parish members and visitors will be invited to add their signatures to letters of appreciation from the rector to the twenty-nine Episcopal bishops who filed amicus curiae briefs with the Supreme Court in support of marriage equality.

Read more about those briefs here. And then visit the Action Table following the 7:30, 9:00, 11:15a.m. or 1:00 p.m. services to add your name!

Find out more about All Saints stand for marriage equality
First time visitor? Click here visitor info.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

April @ All Saints ... Mark Your Calendars!


Friday, March 15, 2013

"The Great Easter Truth"

from the Easter 2013 "Saints Alive" Newsletter of All Saints Church in Pasadena | by the Reverend Susan Russell, Senior Associate for Communication, Incorporation and Inclusion

The words came to me in an Easter card I received now over twenty years ago: "The great Easter truth is not that we will be born again someday -- but that we are to be alive here and now by the power of the resurrection.” And they resulted in what Ed Bacon would call “an epiph.” An “aha!” A moment of deep knowing in the core of my being that these words were true – that they were talking to me – and that I was going to be changed by them.

And what those words continue to say to me – all these years later -- is that the great Easter truth we celebrate doesn’t end when the Easter lilies wilt and the Alleluias fade. What they say to me is that the great Easter truth enables us to be alive – here and now – each and every day – claiming the power of the resurrection – often in very unexpected ways. The great Easter truth is that the great gospel stories of Easter Season tell us again and again that the Risen Lord isn’t always announced with alleluias and Easter lilies. In fact, they will tell us exactly the opposite.

Mary Magdalene, the first to encounter Jesus in the garden at first thought he was the gardener – until he spoke her name. Running to tell the other disciples they thought she was hallucinating – until he appeared to them in the upper room. Thomas, out of the room when Jesus showed up, thought they had ALL gone over the edge – until Jesus showed up again and said, “Here, Thomas – if what you need to believe is to see my hands and my side then check it out.” Over and over we hear the stories of those who had resurrection right in front of them and they couldn’t see it. Not because they lacked faith -- but because they lacked the vision to see the unexpected right before their eyes.

The great Easter truth is that resurrection was not a one-size-fits-all experience for the disciples. If it had been, we would have fewer resurrection narratives in scripture – and fewer clueless disciples in the narratives! And yet I believe that in these stories of first century Christians there are truths that speak in a very particular way as we continue to build a 21st century church that isn’t “one-size-fits-all” either — as we continue to claim our legacy as a community of faith where whoever you are and wherever you find yourself on your journey of faith you are welcome here!

For it is in that community – in communion with God and with each other – that we are given the grace to recognize the resurrection that so very often doesn’t look at all like we expected it to. The Good News we have to share – the lived experience we testify to – is about exercising diverse and prophetic ministries in every part of this broken world: working to end gun violence, fostering a culture of nonviolence, championing economic justice, dancing to end global violence against women, demonstrating to achieve marriage equality, offering comfort in food offered to a hungry neighbor and knitting a prayer shawl given to a grieving mother.

Around the world and around the corner we have Good News to tell – resurrection to proclaim – work to do. Being alive here and now — by the power of the resurrection — is who we are at All Saints Church. And it is that Easter Truth that empowers us to make a difference not just someday but everyday – as we work together to make God’s love tangible 24/7. Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

All Saints Church Pasadena Joins Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath

On Sunday, March 17, All Saints Church in Pasadena will join religious congregations across the country for Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath, a proactive movement by people of faith to reflect, unite and act on the issue of gun violence.

“Today, 85 Americans will die because of firearms, because we have not found the political will and organization to put a stop to our idolatrous worship of the gun,” said All Saints’ rector Ed Bacon. “As people of faith we are called upon to be healers who know how to grieve and to mourn, but also know how to take effective prayerful, persistent, political action. We have a responsibility to work for better gun safety measures, including mandatory background checks, a ban on high capacity clips, and semi automatic weapons.”

Bacon will address gun violence in his sermon “A New Script of Grace” at the 7:30, 9:00 and 11:15 a.m. services. Between services an "Action Table" will provide the opportunity for church members and visitors to sign letters to California State Senators in support of several gun control bills that have been introduced in the Legislature – and members of the All Saints Gun Violence Prevention Task Force will also be available to answer questions about their work.

Also available will be "Save the date" information on upcoming events/actions in April and May along with resources for ongoing education and advocacy.

For more information on the All Saints event, contact Keith Holeman, All Saints Church Director of Communications, at or 626.583.2739.

For more information on National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath visit their website. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Commit yourself to walk with Jesus this week. The services of Holy Week commemorate Jesus’ descent into death before the great miracle of Easter. The crowds’ cheers at Jesus’ triumphal parade into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday turn to jeers and the demand for his blood on Good Friday. If you allow yourself to descend to the depths of despair in what seem to be Jesus’ final hours, you will experience in new ways the incomparable power of the resurrection of Easter. Daily Eucharist traces the journey, building through Maundy Thursday and Good Friday to the triumph of Easter.


Begin your Holy Week with the waving of palms during the grand procession followed by a dramatic retelling of the Gospel.

• 7:30 a.m. Eucharist is held in the Chapel; at 9 & 11:15 a.m. Coventry Choir offer music of Casals and Bach; Ed Bacon preaches.
• 9 a.m. Childrens' Choirs offer music followed by a special Family Eucharist upstairs in the Learning Center.
• 11:15 a.m. Youth Choir members join Coventry Choir to sing Hosanna by Gregor.
• 1 p.m. Spanish Language liturgy, Dan Cole leads music; Ed Bacon preaches.


• Monday March 25 - Wednesday, March 27 | 7:00 a.m., 12:10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
• Thursday, March 28 --Eucharist: 7:00 a.m. and 12:10 p.m.


At 7:30 p.m. in the Church a beautiful evening service recalls the last supper Jesus shared with his disciples. The congregation is invited to participate in the washing of the feet, symbolic of the servant ministry Jesus instituted with the disciples. The Trouvères offer music. This is a Spanish/English liturgy. All are welcome. Parking is available at Plaza Las Fuentes.


Good Friday Three-Hour Service: Noon to 3 p.m. (Church). This service commemorating the passion and death of Jesus is a major moment in Holy Week. The rector and members of the clergy staff offer five meditations on the meaning of the crucifixion in our own time. Canterbury and Coventry choirs offer spirituals and music of Connor, Greene, Hairston,Howells, Barber, Deering, Bach, Casals and Hogan. Parking is available at Plaza Las Fuentes. Signs and parking attendants will direct you.

Tenebrae (God in the Darkness): 7:30 p.m. (Church). This ancient candlelight service commemorates the somber in-between-time of waiting, offering an opportunity to grieve Jesus’ death and sense a glimmer of hope of the resurrection. Coventry Choir Renaissance Singers offer music. Susan Russell offers the meditation. Parking is available at Plaza Las Fuentes.


Children’s Easter Vigil: 4 p.m. (Church). Celebrate the conclusion of Holy Week and beginning of Easter with children leading this service through reading and music with infant and child baptisms. Mastersingers and Troubadours offer music. Bring a bell to ring at the Easter proclamation!

The Great Vigil of Easter: The service begins at 7:30 p.m. in the street with the kindling of the fire and lighting of the Paschal candle, then proceeds into the Church to experience the stories of our faith and to baptize adults by candlelight. You’re invited to bring bells to ring during the Gloria. Parking is available in the Plaza Las Fuentes.


Festive Eucharist: 7:00, 9:00 and 11:15 a.m.; 1:00 p.m. Spanish-language Eucharist
The rector preaches in the midst of a blaze of candles, lilies and trumpets.

At 7:00, 9:00; 11:15 a.m. Coventry and Canterbury choirs and Trouvères, brass and percussion ensemble, and soloists offering music of Gabrieli, Hancock, Curry, Brahms and Marshall;
At 1 p.m. Dan Cole leads music. Normal Sunday parking is available in Kaiser and Plaza Las Fuentes. (Remember, the Plaza is free only until 1 p.m.)

Child care: Child care is available for 7:30 p.m. weekday Eucharists, Maundy Thursday evening, Good Friday noon and evening, the Children’s Vigil, the Great Vigil, and all services on Easter Sunday.

The Power and Healing of the Flower: Many members of our faith community are unable to attend our Easter services – and what a joyous way to share the good news of the resurrection through having them receive a flower from the Easter service. Please let us know if you are available to carry an Easter flower to those members of our community who are unable to be with us. We will have a table available on the lawn for distribution following the 9:00 am, 11:15 am and 1:00pm services. Please call 626-583-2737 or email to indicate your preference.

For more information on any of the above, visit the All Saints website or contact Liturgy Director Melissa Hayes

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Vision for Peace & Justice in the Middle East

We are delighted to welcome
Israeli President of Rabbis for Human Rights,
Arik Ascherman
to the All Saints’ Rector's Forum
on Sunday, March 3, at 10:15 a.m.

Head of Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel, Rabbi Arik Ascherman has given his life to making a just peace between Israel and Palestine a reality. Born in Pennsylvania and educated at Harvard, Ascherman emigrated to Israel in 1994. His passion for peace with justice comes from the rabbinical concept tikkun olam, “repairing the world.”

Join us for an exceptional opportunity for a window into the current state of Israeli-Palestinian relations.

For more information call 626.796.1172 or visit the All Saints website