Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A "Ten Top Moments from 2012 @ASCpas" List

It is almost impossible to sort out THE Top Ten Moments from a year like 2012 @ASCpas, so we've arrived at this list as "a" list of memorable moments. What's on YOUR list?

20 Years of Blessing: 2012 started out in January with a celebration marking the 20th anniversary of the first same-sex blessing at All Saints Church of Mark Benson and Philip Straw in January 1992. The weekend long event was an opportunity to learn from our past as we continue to grow into God’s future – and brought Bishops Gene Robinson and Mary Glasspool to All Saints Church for a truly historic celebration.

Richard Rohr: “The Change That Changes Everything” was the Lent Event that brought Franciscan priest Richard Rohr to All Saints with his message: “Most of us were taught that God would love us if and when we change. In fact, God loves you so that you can change. What empowers change, what makes you desirous of change is the experience of love. It is that inherent experience of love that becomes the engine of change.”

All Saints Master Plan: On Monday, April 16 -- after three hours of public testimony and councilmember deliberation -- the All Saints Master Plan was unanimously approved by the Pasadena City Council. This important and long-awaited step moved the Building Project into the Design Phase and brought All Saints Church closer to having the much-needed new buildings for expanding its mission and ministry.

The Thorny Rose: Also in April, Ed Bacon received the coveted Pasadena title of “Thorny Rose – the prickly honor described by Doo Dah Parade organizers as presented annually to "an individual or organization that has created the strongest dose of discomfort and controversy in the community." Embracing the moment as an opportunity to live out the prophetic call to “afflict the comfortable” the rector literally “rose” to the occasion!

8 Habits of Love: In September Ed Bacon’s book “8 Habits of Love” was published – providing a great opportunity to get the message of living in the House of Love rather than the House of Fear out to a wider audience. The book was not just a gift to those for who read and bought it – it brought a related benefit to All Saints Church by expanding Ed’s visibility on social media platforms, drawing more visitors to the All Saints website, our Facebook and Twitter feeds and viewers to our online sermons and live-streaming.

Live Streaming All Saints: On Homecoming Sunday All Saints achieved a long worked toward goal of live-streaming worship services with the inaugural “live stream” of the 11:15 service – building the capacity to create community beyond the walls of 132 North Euclid Avenue and increase the range of the Good News of God’s inclusive love each and every Sunday.

MPAC Convention: In December All Saints made history by hosting the 12th Annual MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs Council) Convention -- the first time the organization held its national convention at a Christian Church. The event incited a flurry of Islamophobic blogs and emails – helping make exactly the point the convention was called to address: how critical interfaith collaboration is in overcoming religion based bigotry.

Betty Weigel Day: Also in December we celebrated the forty-plus years of the amazing and ongoing ministry of Betty Weigel – as Verger, Acolyte Wrangler and Altar Guild President. Former All Saints staffer Tim Safford (Rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia) returned to preach and regale the congregation with memories and stories of Betty’s unique and extraordinary legacy.

Ending Gun Violence: The year ended on a somber note with an “End Gun Violence Rally” on the steps of All Saints Church – a response by the Pasadena/Altadena community to gun violence in our country and in our community sparked by the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut and the Christmas Day shooting in Northwest Pasadena. Civic, religious and community leaders came together committed to turning a moment of collective grief into a movement for collective change to challenge the culture of violence.

Staff Transitions: Finally, it was with mixed feelings of joy and sadness that we rejoiced with colleagues Wilma, Carissa and Abel in their new vocational calls to Cupertino, Houston and Santa Ana while we grieved their departure from the All Saints staff. So grateful for their work, witness and commitment to making God's love tangible 24/7... we will miss them all, AND ...

... it was with great excitement that we welcomed aboard Francisco Garcia as our new Director of Peace & Justice!

Tick Tock 2013!!!

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