May 21, 2020
Dear Friends,
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

—T.S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men”

Notwithstanding my cousin’s #livingmybestpandemiclife instagram game, I have been keenly of the lingering specter of Coronavirus, which hasn’t gone anywhere (even if we are starting to do otherwise). Even so, I was riveted by last week’s Graduate Together livestream that featured Zendaya, the Jonas Brothers, and Malala Yousafzai, along with other celebrities, offering something special—part tribute, part tough love—to honor seniors around the country.

Barak Obama, self-deprecating as ever, offered a commencement address that encouraged these creative, accomplished graduates to “set the world on a different path” and not to fear as they grapple with real problems, to which adults don’t have all the answers. I stopped my whimpering, for a while, endeavoring to take his presidential charge to "be alive to one another’s struggles" to heart. Yes, impending vacation cancelation and isolation blues have me feeling less than lighthearted as we head into summertime. But I am healthy, safe, and alive. I also have the privilege of participating in a community of faith that strives to keep everyone safe as we seek and serve the image of God in everyone, amid this pandemic.

All Saints’ still is discerning what comes next. We are learning how to imagine a more faithful picture of how we can be “in it together” (even if separately, for now). We have courageous saints among us who keep challenging us to do this difficult work of waking up to the struggles of our world. Our communal life has not ended, even as we gear up for a programmatic break over the summer. But I know that “Alleluia!” has not become a hollow whimper, even if we cannot sing it loud and proud for some time to come.

Eliot’s final poetic refrain from “The Hollow Men” has been running through my brain this week. Speaking to us like sacred Scripture, it describes a world drawing to an end. Perhaps we could see in our own global structures something of this world, whimpering as it limps to its logical conclusion: A world where many suffer and lack while the few live in luxury. A world where some dwell in strong towers, without ever encountering a neighbor in need. A world where private decisions inside a polling place can be taken without worry, even when such choices have disastrous implications for others, including those essential workers honored nightly by noise on balconies around the world. 

For God’s reign to come on earth, as it is in heaven, some things about this world do need to end. Preachers and leaders at this year’s Festival of Homiletics (which would have taken place here in Atlanta, had COVID-19 not upended plans), including the Rev. William J. Barber II, have been saying it this week, far more eloquently than I ever could. In this season of endings, whether the conclusions be festive or frightening, may we hold to the promise of God’s love, renewing the whole earth so that all of God’s creation might flourish.
In fierce hope,
The Rev. Sarah Stewart
Associate Rector for Young Adults and Innovation
Join Your Peers: Reaching Out
All Saints' Cares: Emmaus House
During this time of pandemic and uncertainty, it is a blessing to know that our community of Young Adults at All Saints' has had opportunity to stay connected through weekly gatherings to catch up, to pray, or to learn about how we can continue to live and thrive in our new normal. We hope that everyone has stayed well and each are finding ways to enjoy some of the simpler things in life from our past before the busyness took over.

Lately we have maybe had time to paint, to play our instruments, and have deeper, longer discussions with the people we love. Time just to think and to enjoy the sun and nature outside has been wonderful. One important aspect of our lives that we may feel is missing, however, is the opportunity to serve those in our community of people who are struggling more intensely due to the hardships brought on by the coronavirus. While the desire to serve is strong, the fear of spreading the virus to the vulnerable or contracting the virus is ever present. But recognize that no matter your situation and sentiment on this, we all have the ability to serve vulnerable community members in a variety of ways. 

Bearing this in mind, the Young Adults’ service team decided to come together to discuss how we can make an impact. After looking through the results that we received from survey respondents, regarding shared volunteer interests and considering available opportunities, we decided to devote our efforts over the next two months to Emmaus House, one of the organizations chosen as a focus for the All Saints' Cares initiative.

While the All Saints' Cares initiative provides us so many opportunities to serve within Atlanta, we have chosen Emmaus House as our focus, chiefly for its variety of opportunities to extend compassion to members of our wider community. Emmaus House is an organization devoted to serving the Peoplestown community, especially at-risk youth, their families, and the elderly.

Through the All Sai nts' Cares initiative, we have the chance to serve in the following ways:

  • 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 

You can give directly to Emmaus House using the links to the online giving pages provided above. For those who might prefer, Alexsis Skeen also can receive contributions through Venmo, which will be contributed on behalf of the group to Emmaus House. Email Alexsis at aleskeen@gmailcom with your details.

Regardless of the route you choose to contribute, Alexsis will be tracking our progress, so please notify her of your donation if you choose to give directly or in kind. We will celebrate and share our progress through the All Saints' Young Adult Slack channel, over the next two weeks, to keep up the energy and help us achieve this goal! 

With Emmaus House as our focus, we encourage you to find where you might feel called to give. One way that we hope to kick-start these efforts is to begin a fund raising campaign for Emmaus House in an effort to contribute $100 as a group by June 1st. This simple yet meaningful goal only takes $10 contributions from 10 people. If we exceed our goal, all the better!

We hope you choose to join us in this endeavor, or any other opportunity through All Saints' Cares that speaks to your heart, so that we can continue to reach out to our community during this challenging time. A final note: Sydney Cleland is our primary contact for All Saints’ Cares efforts with Emmaus House, so feel free to reach out to her with any assistance or questions on how to serve: sydney.cleland@gmail.com, 404-373-8303.

We look forward to serving with everyone,
The All Saints' Young Adults' Service Team
Young Adults' Community Corner
Dear Saints,

Since working at a fancy grocery store in college, cooking has been my great passion. I confess; I am a rule-follower. I want to use the ingredients the recipe calls for and make my final plating look like the photo. Even in pre-COVID times, I preferred to spend my energy on determining what to cook and, honestly, what would look most impressive on social media. 

My husband, John, and I are very privileged to both have our jobs. In fact, the mandatory work-from-home order has been great for me, as I usually am alone at my workplace. Now I get to hang out with my favorite human and two precious furbabies all day AND fold sourdough while I’m working. Jackpot. Am I romanticizing quarantine? Absolutely. While I enjoy my new work setting, learning new video-editing skills, and relishing my home time, many millions are suffering greatly. 

How do I square my guilt over those realities? As I’m writing this, I’m considering what to highlight, as my underlying anxiety. What is worthy enough to mention now, while in my nice apartment with my family and time to spare? Is it the scarcity of my usual ingredients (see: bread flour, tofu, soy milk) causing me to have to stretch beyond my strict recipe following nature? Is it the stress of my self-imposed, sky-high production expectations based on other people’s newly found bread-making skills? Is it uncertainty of that job offer for which I had been in the process for over a year? Is it the concern that I’m not putting in enough volunteer hours based on my light workload? Yes to all.

These are not life or death worries. These will not make or break my household finances. I’ve read the think pieces telling me that I should not expect myself to be at my most productive during this time. Still, I carry these worries at the back of my mind. Learning to have perspective and grace with myself is a constant struggle for my rigid nature. I’m grateful for a partner and community that reminds me that I am enough. 

I found this poem by Blanche Elizabeth Wade in my search for bread baking literature that appeared June/July 1918 issue of  American Cookery  magazine, a time shockingly similar to what we’re experiencing now. It demonstrates that the ability to be flexible with your previously understood reality can yield unexpectedly delightful results.

What a great challenge it is to us, as we navigate the uncharted waters of a world reopening amid a pandemic. There will probably not be a comparably better reality in the same way as a new kind flour makes a new kind of bread, but we will learn together how to adapt as a society to ensure our world is safe and thoughtful of others. One of my ways will be baking bread. If it’s yours too, I have sourdough starter to share.  

In Christ,
Megan Wyman
What I've Been...
Reading

  • “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle – Christian writer Glennon Doyle shares her story of leaving her marriage and falling in love with soccer player Abby Wambach. This book is both love story and call to action; by pointing out all of the ways that society tames women and minorities, she highlights the injustices that exist in the system and hold us all back from living the truest versions of our lives and being the people we were called to be.

  • “Know My Name” by Chanel Miller – Chanel comes forward for the first time and names herself as the victim in the Brock Turner/”Stanford swimmer” rape case. This is an incredibly powerful and emotional read, and it’s easy to empathize with Chanel at every turn. She takes you through the entire timeline and process of what it really means to come forward as a victim; how that impacted the lives of her, her friends, and her family members; and the far-reaching impact this has had on society, including spurring on the “Me Too” movement.
 
Watching

  • “Normal People” on Hulu – My favorite English Lit. professor once told me that literature is the study of what it means to be human, and this absolutely resonates with me in Hulu’s adaptation of Sally Rooney’s bestselling novel. This is a story of two people whose lives intersect in high school, and how they continue to weave in and out of each other’s lives over the years through new relationships, deaths, family struggles, and mental health issues. The characters are very complex, and you’ll quickly get sucked into their stories and how they develop as people over the years. In this time of isolation, I really loved this story of Connell and Marianne’s relationship, and how they always managed to be there for each other during life’s tough moments.
 
Listening To

  • “Unlocking Us” by Brene Brown – Brene Brown is one of my favorite authors, and her podcast does an amazing job of delving deeper into vulnerability, grief, and finding meaning in everyday life, and how these topics are especially meaningful now in the time of coronavirus.


Enjoy,
Stephanie White
TONIGHT!
**SPECIAL GUEST @ Saints UnTapped on Thursday, May 21**
  • Virtual Happy Hour, 7:00pm, with the Rev. Simon Mainwaring
  • Bring your favorite beverage and your questions on faith
Contact the Rev. Sarah Stewart at sstewart@allsaintsatlanta.org ​or Justin at justin.averette@gmail.com to obtain the passcode we are using to safeguard our Zoom Room for this exclusive interview with the rector.

All are welcome! We appreciate your cooperation in fostering "safe church" on the inter-webs!
Next Week
Saints UnTapped Virtual Happy Hour
**Final Hurrah Before Summer**
  • VIRTUAL FELLOWSHIP via Zoom
  • Thursday, May 28, at 7:00 p.m.
Bring your own beverage and catch up with friends at happy hour, on tap in the Zoom Room on Thursdays through May 28.

Summer Sabbath for the Saints begins in June. Look for more Untapped opportunities for fellowship in the coming fall!

Join the Rev. Sarah Stewart, Michael Asmussen, and Yanique DaCosta, weekly or whenever you can, as we renew our fellowship in this virtual communion of saints. You're also welcome to stay with us as we pray Compline at 8pm.

Contact the Rev. Sarah Stewart at sstewart@allsaintsatlanta.org or Michael at michael.asmussen@gmail.com to obtain the password we're using to safeguard this virtual gathering in our communal Zoom Room.

All are welcome! We appreciate your cooperation in fostering "safe church" on the inter-webs!
Weekly Virtual Service of Compline (Evening Prayer, ongoing)
  • VIRTUAL PRAYER via Zoom
  • Every Thursday at 8:00 p.m.
Please join us for our weekly prayer group, as we lift up the needs of our world and all whom we love.

Contact the Rev. Sarah Stewart at sstewart@allsaintsatlanta.org ​or Justin Averette at justin.averette@gmail.com to obtain the passcode to our Zoom Room (recent incidents in the Zoom universe caution us about safeguarding this virtual gathering for sharing and prayer).

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, ongoing thanks to peer leadership in summer, starting June 2020!
Eastertide Small Group
Final Eastertide Small Group
  • VIRTUAL FELLOWSHIP & FORMATION via Zoom
  • Tuesday, May 26, at 7:00 p.m.
Join the Rev. Sarah Stewart, Christine Alger, and Joy Armstrong for a virtual small group exploring ways of leaning into Christian community that nourish our hope, resilience, and peace.

Contact the Rev. Sarah Stewart at sstewart@allsaintsatlanta.org ​ to obtain the Meeting ID and passcode, as well as discussion materials, for this unique small group offering.

Thanks for your commitment to building community and your cooperation in fostering "safe church" on the inter-webs.

We look forward to seeing you for this culminating celebration of spiritual resources to nourish the saints as we head into summertime!
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