June 5, 2020
Dear Friends,
“To bring about a paradigm shift in the culture that will change assumptions and attitudes, a critical number of us have to tell the stories of our personal revelations and transformations… The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.” — Jean Shinoda Bolen  

History was not my best subject in grammar school. No one helped me think critically about the Eurocentric lens through which I was taught to view our history or ask questions to complicate the story of race in America. Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Langston Hughes, and Fanny Crosby were African Americans whose stories captivated my young imagination. For all I knew, we were living in a color blind society. Not until college was I exposed to voices in the historical record that troubled dominant narratives to which most of us unwittingly had pledged our hearts, especially the tale that painted America as a nation “with freedom and justice for all."

During my final semester of seminary study, I accessed the personal papers of the Rev. Pauli Murray, which had been donated to the archives of Radcliffe College. Reading her reflections brought fresh epiphanies. I discovered how white allies in the women’s movement sacrificed hopes and dreams of African American pioneers like Murray in order to prioritize the concerns of white women. Grappling with the failings of white feminist foremothers, as well as our broken criminal justice system (thanks to Bryan Stevenson!), and resources created by the Smithsonian Institution, I have been recognizing ways I, too, fall short of my baptismal commitment to strive for justice and peace among all people, loving my neighbor as myself.

Biblical stories awaken us to God’s dream of justice and flourishing for the whole human family. But Scripture also reveals our human tendencies to suppress some voices and privilege others. Even the Bible has a dominant narrative. Thanks to the Holy Spirit non-dominant voices are preserved, if you know where to listen for them. Sacred stories still are being revealed, as we continue discerning the text of our lives. Such narratives can open us to God’s healing and transformation. I pray we will continue attending to such precious stories, sharing them with one another and receiving them with care. 

Pitfalls abound, some of which cause us to harm even when we hope to help (as history also reveals). Justice in June is an choose-your-own-educational-adventure designed for anyone looking to become an ally in working for racial justice and racial equity. Concrete anti-racist steps included here take as little as 10 minutes a day. If you’re more ambitious, you can join me in addressing gaps in my childhood education through an open university course on African American History. Or check out this interdisciplinary approach curated by the Episcopal Church that features films, articles, books, and discussion questions.
Even if (like me) history never was your strong suit, listening and learning are ways we dare to ground ourselves in God's unfolding redemption of the world. Supernatural grace will strengthen us to remain engaged in this powerful work in the days to come, both when our prophetic energies are revved and when our courage to make change waxes and wanes. If, as Krista Tippett says, we all possess the potential to be “nourishers of discernment, fermenters of healing,” then we live into that sacred potential best as we embrace this journey of faith, hope, and justice-making love.
For Jesus' sake,
The Rev. Sarah Stewart
Associate Rector for Young Adults and Innovation
Update: Reaching Out
All Saints' Cares: Emmaus House
Our Young Adults’ Service Team is writing to thank each of you for your collaboration in raising $100 for Emmaus House during the last two weeks, as our collective focus partner in the All Saints' Cares initiative.

Thank you for your generosity! If you wanted to participate but have not yet donated, there still is time! Email Alexsis at aleskeen@gmailcom with details of any additional contributions toward this project. We are grateful for all the love you put into action in our city!

Among the many ways you can help Emmaus House continue serving the Peoplestown community, especially at-risk youth, their families, and the elderly, please consider:

  • Online monetary donations to fund weekly groceries for families (only $10 needed for a family of 4), for rent and utilities, provide prescription assistance, etc. 

  • Online monetary donations for the Carver Market’s Bags of Hope program 

  • Mask donations 

Give directly to Emmaus House using the links to the online giving pages provided above.

We appreciate all who have joined us in this endeavor, or who may yet be planning to do so, through this or any other opportunity through All Saints' Cares Initiative that speaks to your heart.

With gratitude for this community of faith, hope, and love,
The All Saints' Young Adults' Service Team
Young Adults' Community Corner
Hello, all my fellow saints,

As someone who is a young black man, this week has made me tired. Tired in the fact that our current justice system has not been working for people of color. I know that you all are as well, especially with an event that involved one Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. But we can safely say that there is work that must happen. I was amazed by the number of people that gave support to George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. There were reportedly multiple protests that are happening, not just around America, but throughout the world, demanding change.

When I think about George Floyd's death, I see Jesus' death. In our Nicene Creed we confess, "For our sake, he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried," which reminds me of when James H. Cone said that Jesus was lynched. I keep thinking that it could have been me who was brutalized by the police and continue to wrestle with the transformative truth that #BlackLivesMatter invites us to recognize.

But even with all the painful things that are going on in the world, there is still hope. I believe it is up to us to take a stand, get educated on this issues, and act faithfully. I am inviting young adults at All Saints' to a Zoom/Google meet-up opportunity: for a watch party featuring a movie that addresses this issue. We could have a discussion after viewing the film. I spoke to a few people, and they liked the idea. I invite you to weigh in on when you'd be free to participate here .

Just Mercy (the film based on the book by the same title, authored by Bryan Stevenson and speaking to his experiences working within the criminal justice system of our nation) is currently free to rent digitally throughout June. When I saw the movie in the theater earlier this year, I was genuinely impressed by the way the film addresses our present moment. If you have any more questions, or wish to be involved with helping me host our conversation on the film, please email me at syzor13@gmail.com

In Christ,
Sam Osakue
June and July
Saints UnTapped Virtual Happy Hour (ON VIDEO PAUSE)
**Will return in August 2020**
Other opportunities for fellowship will be posted via Slack
Weekly Virtual Service of Compline (Evening Prayer, ongoing)
  • Every Thursday at 8:00 p.m.
Please join us for our weekly peer-led prayer group, as we lift up the needs of our world and all whom we love.

Contact Justin Averette at justin.averette@gmail.com to obtain access details.

All are welcome! We appreciate your cooperation in fostering "safe church" on the inter-webs and look forward to seeing you in the "Zoom Room" each Thursday, thanks to peer leadership this summer, starting June 4, 2020!
Resources for Personal Prayer in Daily Life
  • CONNECT WITH PRAYING PEERS via Young Adults @ All Saints' Slack Channel: youngadultsallsaints.slack.com # prayers
Online BCP:

Daily Prayer in Contemporary Language (for various times of day):

Other Daily Prayer with Scripture :
https://dailyofficeexpress.org (The Daily Office Readings)
http://anglicanprayerbook.nz (Online New Zealand Prayer Book)

Meditative Prayer Resources (music and guided meditation):
https://pray-as-you-go.org (Pray As You Go - Ignatian Prayer)
https://player.fm/podcasts/Contemplative-Prayer (Daily Disconnect Podcast - Carmelite Prayer)

Taize’ Nightly Livestream prayers with the Brothers in France @ 9:30pm ET:

Compline by Candlelight from Trinity Wall Street:
For more information contact The Rev. Sarah Stewart