You are my refuge and my stronghold, my God in whom I put my trust.

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Recent News from All Saints

Holy Week and Easter

Palm Sunday 8:00 and 10:00 am March 20
Tenebrae 7:00 pm March 23
Maundy Thursday 7:00 pm March 24
Good Friday noon and 7:00 pm March 25
Easter Vigil 8:00 pm March 26

Easter Sunday 8:00 and 10:00am March 27

* – Child care provided at all services

Betsey’s response to the attacks in Paris

This was composed and read at both services on Sunday, November 15, by the Rev. Betsey Monnot.

On Friday, I heard, as I expect many of us did, about the terror attacks in Paris. As it happened, I was first informed by other people, and quickly my understanding of the events there grew through social and traditional media. I spent yesterday at our Diocesan Convention, along with the clergy and delegates from around the Diocese of Northern California, and while there our bishop led us in prayer for those affected by the Paris attacks.

We do, indeed, need to keep those killed, injured, or otherwise affected by the attacks in Paris in our prayers, and we included them in the Prayers of the People here just a few moments ago. At the same time, we must remember the refugees from Syria and other parts of the middle east, fleeing violence and persecution in their own countries, who will now be subject to increased violence, persecution, and suspicion in the countries to which they are fleeing for refuge. They may find that there is nowhere safe for them to go.

We also need to be mindful of other terrorist attacks that have taken place over the past several days, that were less widely reported here than the attacks in Paris. I speak of ISIS attacks in Baghdad and Beirut, that also killed civilians as they went about their daily lives. These attacks were less reported in both mainstream and social media, and we need to consider why not.

I suggest that the systemic racism that plagues this nation is alive and well in this selective media reporting. When white people from a European city like Paris are killed as they enjoy time in a cafe, at a concert, or at a football game, we become immediately saddened and outraged. When the same thing occurs in Beirut, or Baghdad, we, collectively as a society, shrug our shoulders and turn away.

Let us pray:

Holy God, you move in all that we are, in all that we see, and in all that we do. We ask you to bless, heal, and guide all those affected by terror attacks everywhere: in Paris, in Baghdad, in Beirut, and anywhere else they occur. We ask you to work in the hearts of those moving toward violence, helping them to turn and to see your face in the ones they want to attack. And we ask your forgiveness for our part in the system of racism, intolerance, and privilege that results in people for whom violence is the only answer, both here in our country and throughout the world. We ask these things through your son, Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, who calls the whole world into union with you.

AMEN.

Disconnecting and Reconnecting

Ten days ago, I sat by a campfire, wondering how I would answer my own question.

At the campfire--first night of Parish Camp 2015

At the campfire–first night of Parish Camp 2015

About thirteen of us were watching the smoke rise from the fire pit at the first-ever All Saints Parish Camp at our diocesan camp and conference center, Camp Noel Porter. We had eaten dinner and were chatting about this and that, and it was time to bring the group together and to introduce the theme of our time at camp. I read a Miwok creation story, and the group reflected on how it was similar to and different from the creation stories in Genesis. Then, as we were about to go to our tents, I invited everyone to speak a blessing or an intention for our time away from home, up at camp.

It is very easy to ask others to come up with a blessing or an intention for a time away, but I discovered that it was harder to think one up for myself. As I listened, I became aware that the circle would eventually get around to me, and that I would have to answer my own question. What would I say?

I went up to camp after a very intense week with some of the volunteer work that I do for Camellia Waldorf School, the school that my children attend. I had been on the phone, on email, and texting with school staff and volunteers every day, leading up to the culmination of the work we had been doing for months. I was ready to take a break and disconnect.

What I realized, when it was my turn to speak, was that I wanted more than just to disconnect. I also wanted to reconnect with things I had become disconnected from during the intense work I had been doing. I wanted to reconnect with my family, with the natural environment (so very beautiful up at Camp Noel Porter), and with God.

I wonder how often that feeling of wanting to “get away from it all” includes, hiding behind it, a desire to reconnect with those life-giving things that tend to fall by the wayside when life gets stressful. I would guess that this happens especially at transition times, such as moving from summertime to school time (which is often a transition time even for people who aren’t in school themselves!).

Take some time to pay attention to your feelings, especially when you are stressed. If you are feeling like getting away from things, ask yourself if there is anything that you want to move toward–silence, family, friends, God–and then, in addition to disconnecting from things that cause you stress, make the opportunity to reconnect with things that give you life.

Update from the Daughters of the King

The next meeting of Holy Wisdom Chapter will be Monday, September 14th, at 6:00 p.m.

We will gather at Norma Kohout’s home, 5994 Lake Crest Way, Apt. 3.

Our dear Norma is back home after suffering a major set-back following hip surgery. She was in ICU for a week.  The chapter is very thankful that she is doing well with lots of prayer and good care.

The book we are reading and discussing during the meeting is “The Screwtape Letters”by C. S. Lewis.

For information about Holy Wisdom Chapter and The Order of Daughters of the King contact Carolyn Sutton at 916 395-4972 or Norma Kohout at normakohout@gmail.com.

Upcoming Events

Adult Bible Study

May 29 @ 9:15 am

Christmas Eve Family Service with Pageant

December 24 @ 4:00 pm

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

December 24 @ 10:00 pm

Our Address and Phone Number

All Saints Episcopal Church
2076 Sutterville Road
Sacramento, California 95822
Voice: 916-455-0643
Fax: 916-455-0142

Worship Service Times

8:00 am Sunday Holy Eucharist, Rite II
9:15 am Sunday Adult Bible Study
10:00 am Sunday Holy Eucharist, Rite II
Nursery and Sunday School at the 10 am service.

City College Parking Permits

All Saints Church is located across the street from Sacramento City College. Each semester we offer students the opportunity to purchase a pass to park in our parking lot Monday through Friday from 7:00 to 4:00. For more information see our parking pass information page.

Jesus is Pregnant

MHM-Pregnant-Belly

Sermon preached by the Rev. Betsey Monnot, 5/8/16

Readings: Easter 7, Year C. Acts 16:16-34, Psalm 97, Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21, John 17:20-26.

There are some parts of the gospels that you just can’t preach a sermon on, and this particular passage from the Gospel of John is, in my opinion, one of them. Jesus is praying aloud, in the presence of his disciples, after having spent several of the previous chapters talking to them and telling them things. Now he is praying to the Father on their behalf, and also on our behalf. Jesus asks the Father that we, you and I and all of those who believe in Christ, as well as the disciples who were with him at the time, all of us together, that we may be in the Father and in Christ, as the Father is in Christ and as Christ is in the Father.

So I hope that’s clear now.

Jesus goes on to tell the Father that the glory that the Father gave to Jesus, Jesus has now given to us, so that we may be one, as Jesus and the father are one, Jesus in us and the Father in Jesus, completely one, so that the world may know that the Father sent Jesus and loves us even as the Father loves Jesus. Our oneness as Christians is how the world is to know about Jesus and about God the Father.

No wonder the world hasn’t seen it yet. Christians are not particularly good at being one, and if that is the way to show the world about Jesus and God the father, the we’ve mostly been going at it all wrong.

Maybe the problem is that we’ve spent too much time preaching, and not enough time praying.

See, this part of the Gospel of John, I think, is just not something that you can grasp by thinking about it. I hope I’ve demonstrated that somewhat–if you’re not convinced, please feel free to take the bulletin home and spend some time thinking about this week’s gospel. I’d love to know if thinking about it gets you anywhere.

I think that if you want to get into this bit of the Gospel of John, the way to do it is through prayer. Not the wordy kind of prayer, with petitions and lists, but the kind of prayer where you sit and seek to be nothing but present with God, as God is always, every moment, present with you. That’s hard, maybe almost impossible, but it could be that during that kind of prayer a person might catch a sense of what Jesus is talking about, being in the Father and we being in him. We’re talking about the kind of mystical experience that cannot be captured in words–or at least not in words that can be readily understood. This is why I say that it’s pretty much impossible to preach on this bit of the Gospel of John.

What I can offer you, though, in addition to the recommendation to pray in order to really comprehend this passage, is an analogy.

Like all analogies, it is flawed. It is incomplete. But it may be useful nonetheless.  Read more

Safe Sheep

We Christians kind of get used to being called sheep after awhile. Last week we heard Jesus tell Peter, “feed my sheep.” This week, Jesus tells some folks in the temple, who want him to tell them definitively whether or not he is the Messiah, that they do not belong to his sheep. Jesus’ sheep hear his voice, he knows them, and they follow him. That would be us. Baa.

Read more

Rescue and Relationship

Sermon by Dr. Jill Joseph, Maunday Thursday 2016

Readings: Exodus 12:1-14, Psalm 116:1, 10-17, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Tonight, in a week we name as holy, as sacred, we begin with the fundamentals. We begin by acknowledging in both the Jewish testament and the Good News of John that our God is not a magician bringing good fortune, not a celestial ATM machine into which we slip prayer in order to be handed prosperity and joy, no little God promising us freedom from want and suffering and sorrow. Freedom from bombings and freedom from hateful talk littering our electoral campaign trails. There are times I, and perhaps you, may wish this were the case. But it is not. Ours is a God well familiar with suffering and sorrow.

Tonight, as we look from the perspective of Scripture, whether Hebrew Testament or Gospel, we see the suffering and sorrow. The reading from Exodus looks back to Egypt and there we see the generations of Israelites originally welcomed and taken into Egyptian life, prospering and growing numerous until they became a threat and are seen as the foreigner, the unwelcome stranger. And thus they were punished, first with harshness akin to slavery and then by the murder of their infant sons.

The good news of John looks not back to suffering but forward to suffering for, as it says there, “Jesus knew his hour had come to depart.” And thus ahead loom the nighttime garden plea that he might be spared. Ahead, the betrayal, the 3-fold denials, the flight of dear disciples from the reality of an ordinary criminal death for the one they loved. Ahead, the cross.

No, our God, far from Read more