Last Wednesday a group of us gathered on Zoom for the Lenten Discussion Series, and it was so comforting to get to see and talk with people from our church community. Some were on computers and some even joined us by calling in. It was amazing how, once we got past the technology learning curve, the sense of physical distance was minimized, and it began to feel like we were in the same room. And in a way, we were. It just happened to be a virtual room. As one member of our group put it beautifully, “Right now we are physical distancing, not social distancing.”
This Sunday As we continue our worship online, this Sunday, we will stream our 8:00am and 10:15 services and send out a link to the recording afterwards. Tomorrow I will send out a minimal bulletin for both services and links to where you can view it. Given restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people, we will not be able to hold an outdoor service for the time being. Also, if you missed last Sunday’s sermon, I’ve posted it below.
Godly Play On Sunday, we will be adding a Godly Play class for kids and families at 9:00am on Zoom. Laura Axon will be leading us in the lesson, and kids will be able to interact with their “I wonder...” questions. You can join us by clicking this link, or using the following information:
Holy Week and Easter To comply with state and national recommendations to spread the slow of Covid-19, our bishop has asked that all congregations of the diocese cancel all in person corporate worship through April 14 regardless of the size of the gathering.
Now, this does not mean that Holy Week and Easter are canceled. Only that it will look different than it has in the past. We will continue to stream and offer recordings of our services. Jim and I have already been brainstorming, and there is much in these beautiful liturgies that can be transferred into an online format and still can be very meaningful in light our circumstances. We will have more information in the coming days about what that will look like.
Outreach Our Hot Meals and Shower/Laundry vans will continue this Saturday with new efforts in place to keep people safe. I want to extend my sincere gratitude to all those who have been working to keep these services stable.
Encouraging our Neighbors If you’ve passed by All Saints recently, you probably saw the poster created by children of the neighborhood. If you have some time tomorrow or over the weekend, we would love to have people share their prayers, hopes, and words of encouragement on the All Saints fence. You can tape them, tie them, or lean them anywhere you like.
Staying Connected If you know of people who are not on email/online or able to participate in some of the opportunities listed above, please let me know. The Pastoral Care Team has done a great job of comprising a list of people and have been reaching out with phone calls. We will continue to explore what we can offer.
If your income is unaffected, and/or you are able to give at this time, the church would still love your support. You can do so through PayPal here, or by calling your bank and asking them to send a direct payment to All Saints. If you have stamps, you can also mail it in to: 4033 SE Woodstock Blvd., Portland, OR, 97202.
If you ever have any questions, or just want to talk, please don’t hesitate to email, call, text, or Facebook message me. My cell is (503) 888-7637.
Blessings as you continue to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world today, anointed for this very moment.
Godly Play: We know that our families are working to facilitate learning at home and to that end, the Godly Play Foundation is offering to share some of their resources at a significantly reduced cost. We are holding you all in prayer and hope.
Making Meaning in Exile Bundle($15) Includes a hard copy of Stories of God at Home and two sets of materials: Easter and The Good Shepherd, with a cardboard box, colored prints, and felt underlays.
Involuntary Fasting in the Time of COVID-19: Silver Linings and a growing of the soul in all these involuntary fastings (which can become voluntary fastings if we put them into the larger context) might include the following:
Learning the primal lesson of not taking for granted—our health, our breath, our life, our community interdependence and mutual service.
Learning to SLOW DOWN. And contribute less to global warming by slowing our economies down.
Learning anew the preciousness of health. And a healthy planet. And a healthy body.
- Matthew Fox
Fire Drill Fridays on Hold: But the mile-long oil trains bringing their explosive and polluting cargo into our city and Zenith Energy are not! Any messages to Mayor Wheeler and the City Council encouraging them to put a stop to this would go a long way toward protecting “this fragile earth, our island home."
The Rev. Andria Skornik March 15, 2020 Sermon Streamed on Facebook Live
It has been a strange week. Starting with time change. A full moon. Life changing overnight. Friday the 13th. And if all of that weren’t enough? Snow. In Portland. On March 14th.
In efforts to reduce the spread of Covid-19, many businesses, schools, and churches -- like ours -- have had to close. And while it’s true that we’re only a couple of days into it, many of us are feeling the stress as we anticipate isolation.
On Friday, at my son’s preschool, it was emotional realizing it could be awhile before we saw each other again. Before our kids would get to play again. It was similar at our Wednesday Lenten meal as we considered the thought of not being able to come together the next week. All of it has brought into focus just how much our times together mean.
The gospel appointed for today is actually quite resonant. Because it’s about a woman whose experience seems to be one of isolation. The text says it was noon and she was out getting water. Which is odd because, at the time, women didn’t get water alone. They did it in groups for the safety and sense of community. And they sure didn’t do it right in the middle of the day, when it was hottest out. Usually it happened in the morning or evening when it was cool. So why was she there alone at that time?
Many preachers have taught that it was because of a moral failing. That she was a woman with a shady past. Or, as one famous, modern preacher described her in a sermon, “a worldly, sensually-minded, unspiritual harlot from Samaria.” But the text doesn’t say that. All it says is that she had five husbands and her present one was not her husband, which could’ve been for any number of reasons. She could’ve been widowed, abandoned or divorced (which in the ancient world was basically the same thing). She could’ve had to flee abuse. She could've been living with someone upon whom she was dependent for survival. She could’ve been in what’s called a Levirate marriage, where a childless woman was married to her deceased husband’s brother to produce an heir, but wouldn’t have been considered his wife. All that’s to say, there are plenty of ways we can imagine her story as tragic, and not a scandal. Yet, so many have rushed in assuming the worst.
And perhaps that’s why she was alone. Perhaps the people in her community rushed in with the same judgements. Maybe not knowing the whole story, but that it fell outside of the norm, and so was something to keep at a distance. Or maybe being alone was something she chose. Because it was just too hard. And people didn’t get it. And it was easier to go it alone.
But on this day she wasn’t alone. Jesus met her at the well and asked for a drink of water. She, of course, was shocked by this. Jews didn’t get along with Samaritans. And men and women of this culture kept their distance from each other. And even though in verse 4 it says it was necessary for Jesus to go through Samaria, logistically speaking, it was not necessary. There were a lot of ways to go around Samaria to get to where he was going, which is what most people in his situation would’ve done. But for Jesus, going to her and her people was imperative.
Jesus sat with her — and named her situation — but with no trace of judgement. It was a way of conveying, “I see what you’re going through and I stand with you.” Where others had pushed her out, he crossed boundaries to pull her in. And to give her a safe space to be really seen and known and supported. And that experience did something to her. It was like a light went on. Her countenance opened up. And she ran to tell everyone. “Come meet the man who told me everything I’ve ever done” -- the man who saw me and stood with me.
What she was asking people to see then is also the very thing we need to see.
Right now everyone is going through a lot. We’re scrambling to figure out what to do, how to stay safe, how to best carry on in the weeks to come. We’re bracing ourselves for many unknowns: very real financial concerns, how to care for children without the usual supports, how all of this might affect our health care system. We’re grieving the vacation we’d been planning, a child’s birthday party, informal get-togethers among friends, family members that we can’t see. And we’re grieving for the people who’ve been hit the hardest.
And in this time especially, we must remember that we are not alone. Christ has gone out of his way to be with us. Because for Christ it is necessary. And Christ is with us right now.
Christ overcame the separation of heaven and earth to be with us in the person of Jesus. To give us this image with the woman at the well, and so many others, so that we can see what it looks like. To see that in all of these places where we feel alone, we are not alone. There is someone standing there with us. Seeking to draw us out. To help us have the experience of being seen and stood with in such a way that it ignites the light in us.
Our part is to remain aware. That no matter how bleak things seem, Christ is always there. We are the woman at the well and there is someone standing by us. Someone who has given everything to be with us. Who knows all of our story and what we’re going through, and isn’t going anywhere. When we let this sink in, like the woman, it changes us.
And it doesn’t stop there. We know that Christ is not only with us. Christ is in us. Which means, in the same way, Christ in us wants to stand in solidarity with others. To bear witness to what they are going through.
And that’s what we are seeing so much of right now. We may be in a time where we have to physically distance ourselves from each other, but in these last few days I have seen people come forward and come together in ways I’ve never seen before. Restaurants offering free meals to children who rely on meal assistance at their schools. Internet providers increasing wifi speeds. Streaming services offering educational programs for families to do from home. Employers and individuals working to figure out how to continue paying people whose jobs are on hold.
People organizing through things like “Buy Nothing,” volunteer databases, and churches offering to run errands, provide groceries or meal cards, and making sure everyone has toilet paper. And of course, so many professionals in health care and social services who are ramping up their services to meet increased needs and so no one falls through the cracks.
We can see Christ in all of this. What we see other people doing, and what we find ourselves being compelled to do. When we find it necessary to go and see others and stand with them. We are not only the woman at the well. We are also Jesus.
Christ in us is ready for this moment. Wherever you are today, know that there is someone who sees you and stands with you. And Christ in you is ready to take those less traveled roads that get us to where we need to be to be there for each other.
A Note from Your Treasurer: Here are three ways to give while in person services are suspended:
1. There is a Donate Button on our website allsaintspdx.org that you can access that will enable to you make a Pledge Payment or any other type of donation through Pay Pal. Pay Pal charges us 2.9% plus $.30 per transaction, so if you want to make the full Pledge Payment, please consider adding this additional cost to your payment.
2. The second method of making a secure Pledge Payment to All Saints is through your Banking Institution. All Banking Institutions have a system in place where you can have a check directly issued and mailed to All Saints in the amount of your Pledge Payment or donation at no cost to you or to us. This method is the safest and best way to ensure your Pledge Payment or donation is credited to you and easy for us to keep track of. You can choose the time of month or even have the checks issued weekly and not worry about physically being present at All Saints to make your payments. Please let me know if you need any help in getting this set up.
3. You can also mail a check to the Church Office at 4033 SE Woodstock Blvd.
We sincerely appreciate your generosity in support of All Saints, and together, we will continue to do God’s amazing work.
- Jerry Meter, Treasurer
Lenten Series - The Universal Christ: We had a great turnout for our first two evenings of this Lenten series, as well as our third gathering, which happened via ZOOM. We will continue this format for the next two weeks -- adding an additional week because there is so much to talk about and we enjoyed it so much. Thanks to all who participated while adhering to the Diocesan "social isolation" recommendation.
Adult Forum Series - "Cultivating God Through Liturgy” March 8th through April 5th at 9:15am in the Parish Hall: Postponed for the time being. Stay tuned for updates here!
Mustard Seed & St. Francis Closet Update: Given that a number of our volunteers and customers fall into the high risk group for negative results for Covid-19, the Mustard Seed and St. Francis Closet will be closed for two weeks and then re-evaluating. Thank you for your understanding.
Hot Meals & Shower/Laundry Update: We will continue to serve meals to our Saturday guests, but instead of a hot meal in our Parish Hall, we will be supplying box lunches. Harbor of Hope is continuing to offer the shower and laundry services as well.
Wednesday Worship and Study at All Saints: Please stay tuned for our plans for the Weekday Bible Study and Weekday Eucharist.
Parish-Wide Dinner Parties for April Postponed: Hello everyone, I know you were counting on gathering for another amazing dinner party with other parishioners. However, with the news of the coronavirus spreading, we have decided to postpone our excellent April dinner parties to another time. Stay tuned! We’ll let you know when the next one will be. Please consider hosting at your home (or the church) and let Laurie McD, Kathy M, Maryruth S, Miriam L, or Andria S+ know your availability.
Derek Webb Concert at All Saints: Tentatively rescheduled for Sunday, June 21 for beautiful music in a beautiful space as we host the Portland show for Derek Webb’s new album tour "Targets." You may remember Webb's music as the lead singer for the band Caedman's Call. His solo work and journey as an artist has been likened to that of David Bazan. You can preview the album at Derekwebb.com.The show starts at 8:00 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. $20 Tickets available here.
The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday, April 5
The service begins with the triumphal entry into Jerusalem and ends in the dramatic reading of Christ’s Passion.
Maundy Thursday, April 9
This service calls to mind the Last Supper that Jesus shared with his disciples through symbolic foot washing and an Agape Meal.
Good Friday, April 10
A service devoted to the remembrance of Christ's passion and veneration of the cross.
The Great Vigil of Easter,
Saturday Night, April 11
The service dating to the fourth century begins with darkness, the lighting of the new fire, the ancient Exsultet, and re-telling the stories of God’s love and call to us. With the announcement that the Lord is risen and the ringing of bells, we celebrate the first Eucharist of Easter.
Easter Day, Sunday of the Resurrection, April 12
Christ is risen! Festive Alleluia-filled services!
St Francis Closet is temporarily closed: The St. Francis Closet is a room in our church thrift store that provides clothing and other items for those in distress. Ways to help:
1. Donate money and designate it for the “Deacon’s Account” or “St. Francis Closet.”
2. Donate new or gently used clothing, shoes, blankets or sleeping bags, "hotel-size" toiletries.
3. Assist in the St. Francis Closet for any amount of time on Saturdays, 11-3. (Please check with Kathleen in advance). Great volunteer experience.
Calendar for Upcoming Week:
Saturday, March 21
10:30 AM - 2:00 PM Harbor of Hope Showers & Laundry
11:30 AM Hot Meals: Boxed lunches
3:00 PM - 10:00 PM Janitorial Services
Sunday, March 22
8:00 AM Holy Eucharist, Rite I - Live streamed via Facebook
9:00 AM Godly Play via Zoom
10:15 AM Holy Eucharist, Rite II: Family Service
Monday, March 23 7:00 PM I Chuan
Tuesday, March 24
Wednesday, March 25
3:00 PM - 10:00 PM Janitorial Services
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Lenten Study online via Zoom
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM I Chuan
Thursday, March 26
Prayers of Concern: Chuck Martin; Gail McCowen; Truby family.
Repose of the Soul: The Rev. Dr. Tom Truby.
Birthday Celebrations: Jay Friends; Larry Chalew-Fuller; Brooke Anderson; Elijah Kilian.