News for the Week of:

December 24, 2023

Dear Friends,


We are on the edge of Christmas, scrambling to finish last-minute shopping and wrapping, or maybe worrying about how things will go with family this year, or perhaps sad we won’t have a big Christmas, or wondering if this Christmas might be merry after all. Christmas brings up a lot of feelings for a lot of reasons, but when we turn to our faith rather than our culture to consider Christmas, we find cause to celebrate and we can rejoice! 

Whether you come to one of our Christmas services or whether you are away with friends and family in another city, we will all celebrate the miracle that, long ago, God chose to join us in our lives. This is an ancient story, a story so often told that we might no longer feel wonder at it. But what a wonder it is! God chose to join us—here!—in our messy lives, in their dailiness and beauty, in our sorrow and the joy, our anger and peace, promising with that moment that we are never alone, that we can be certain that God understands our lives and dignifies each moment because it is God-breathed and God-known. 


This is a Holy Time. It can be easy to be distracted now, by the busyness of the season, by things not turning out the way we had hoped. When I am feeling overwhelmed in this season, I remember the great wisdom of A Charlie Brown Christmas. After all his plans go awry, Charlie Brown cries out: “Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” And then Linus—he who always carries his security blanket—tells the Christmas story that we hear each year. 


The lights go down, the spotlight shines on Linus as he tells the story from the Gospel of Luke: "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not:” 


Then Linus DROPS his security blanket, no longer in need of it, and continues, "for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'" 


After proclaiming that miraculous story, Linus says, simply, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”


Whether celebrating on your own or surrounded by loved ones, I hope you know the glory of God, that God has joined us for love of us, for love of YOU. Fear not. That’s what Christmas is all about. 

Faithfully, Suzanne+

P.S. And if you need some ragged joy on Christmas morning, listen to “Fairytale of New York” by the Pogues, which I preached about on the Second Sunday of Advent.

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Advent IV and Christmas at All Saints

Sunday, December 24

Advent IV Services (8:00am and 9:00am)

 Children's Candlelight Christmas Eve Eucharist (4:30pm)

Carols (10:30pm)/Festival Candlelight Christmas Eve Eucharist (11:00pm)


Monday, December 25

Christmas Day Eucharist (10:00am)

Pledges and giving

Thank you for your generosity to All Saints this year! In order for a gift to be credited to 2023, we need to receive it no later than end of day on Sunday, December 31. 

Questions? Contact Edward.

Worship and Service

De-Greening the Church

Sunday, January 7 (following our 11:00am service)

Stick around after our 11:00am service on Sunday, January 7 or just come over at 12:30pm as we mark the end of yet another Christmas season by "de-greening" the church. A light lunch will be provided.

Children's Epiphany Celebration

“People were wondering, so it just seemed right to make this.”

-- Beth, age 6.

On Saturday, January 13 from 2:30-5:30pm, children ages 6 to 12 are invited to celebrate the season of Epiphany, the time when the Church recalls the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem.

Beginning in the All Saints’ Parish Hall, the afternoon will include reflections on prophecies of the coming Messiah and Gospel readings re-telling the birth of Christ, with candle decorating, singing, and simple crafts to reflect on the season. Older children (in the 9-12 group) will spend time in a candle lit labyrinth of greenery on the parish hall floor to represent the journey of the Magi. Parents and others interested are invited to join the children at 4:45 pm for a short celebration of Epiphany and the end of the Christmas season.

If your child would like to attend or assist, please RSVP by Sunday, January 7 to Polly Tangora ([email protected]) so that we can plan for materials. This celebration is a project that requires more than just a few children, so knowing we have a sufficient number to make it work is important. Friends and neighbors 6-12 are also very welcome to join.

Formation and Fellowship

Epiphany Bread, Wine, and Word

Saturday, January 6, 6:00-8:30pm

Share your gift of a story over dinner in the sanctuary. In this season when we recognize God in our midst, where have you experienced the Holy or the miraculous in your life? When have you been hoping for everything to change… and it has? Or tell another story that would be a gift to share!

The point of gathering is to connect with one another, so your story should be real, your own, and focus on events and feelings rather than proving a point or teaching a lesson.


No pressure if you don’t want to tell a story, but if you do, stay within the 3-5 minute range and consider taking a risk. If you are new to storytelling, The Moth offers these great GUIDELINES


Interested? Sign up here! Bring your favorite beverages and desserts to enjoy and share. Questions? Contact Colin Collette at [email protected].

Episcopal 101 & 102: 

Belonging, Becoming, and Believing

Wednesday, January 10

Are you new here at All Saints? Been coming for a while, but still have lots of questions about what this “Episcopal” church is all about? Would you like a deeper understanding of our worship and why we do what we do? If so, then Episcopal 101 is for you! If you've already participated in Episcopal 101 but want to go deeper, please join Episcopal 102; if you want a review, then take 101 again!

Our next Episcopal 101 and 102 will meet on Wednesday, January 10 from 7:00-9:00 pm. Both groups will start in the parish hall and center their conversation on the topic of belonging. How do we experience belonging in our lives and at church? When we say, we belong to a faith community, what does that mean for us? The 101 group will begin with our own backgrounds of church (or no church), take a broad look at the Christian church, and then explore in more detail how the Episcopal church understands its mission and the ways it is organized to fulfill that mission. The 102 group will take a deeper dive into the polity and structure of the Episcopal Church. We will end our time with prayer. 

Sign up here. The sign-up form includes a place to note topics or questions you want to make sure we cover in the class. 

Please note: if you've already signed up for Episcopal 101 or 102 last fall, there's no need to sign up again.

Small Group for Educators

Are you an educator? Being an educator hasn't been easy lately, and it can often feel like you're living on an island.

A number of your fellow educators at All Saints have expressed an interest in getting together for a little social time with someone else who "gets it." The holidays are always super busy, but a social event before returning from winter break might just be a great way to start this group off. This could be an opportunity to commiserate, debrief, and mentally prepare yourself for the months ahead.

All educators are welcome to join, including school leaders, teachers, tutors, support aides, psychologists, speech therapists, etc. - essentially anyone who works in the PK-12 realm.

Please share your interest by contacting Joe Wernette-Harnden at [email protected]

Marques Garrett at

St. Paul and the Redeemer:

January 13

The Church of St. Paul & the Redeemer in Hyde Park is hosting a free, day-long workshop with Marques Garrett, editor of the new, indispensable Oxford Anthology of Music by Black Composers, a 2023 publication which centers the non-idiomatic music of Black composers. All are invited to join this day-long event on Saturday, January 13 to learn about the composers featured in this anthology.

More info:

Outreach and Justice

Volunteers Needed for January: RCS After School Pantry 

RCS' After School Pantry is back for the 2023-24 school year and we are looking for additional volunteer help! Partnering with Brennemann, Goudy, and McCutcheon elementary schools in Uptown, these Thursday afternoon pantries are designed to provide families with kid-friendly staples over the weekend when school meals are not available. This school year, we've seen an overwhelming increase in participation, which means we need more help! If you have a flexible schedule and can be available for 60-90 minutes on a Thursday afternoon, sign up here for one or more of the available volunteer spots. Thank you!

Church Business

From the Office of Christmas Down Time…

Please note that the All Saints office will be closed the week after Christmas, but we'll all be back at our desks on Tuesday, January 2.

If you have a pastoral emergency, such as a death or hospitalization, contact Courtney at 312-318-3652.

If you have an administrative need, such as about your 2023 giving, contact Edward at [email protected].

Serving This Sunday

8:00am Service
Altar Guild: Steve Larson

9:00am Service
Acolytes: Anderson Bergman & Jonah Kruse
Altar Guild: Emily Feldhake & Bryan Matias
Ushers: Jordan Olberding & Josephine Koo
Lectors: Skip Yates & B.A. Church
Intercessor: Katie Nolan
Chalice: Skip Yates & B.A. Church
11:00am Service
There will be no 11:00am service this Sunday.

Did you know you can listen to All Saints sermons on Apple Podcasts?

We Pray For

Those who suffer in mind, body, or spirit: especially for Ken Herceg, Christopher Allen Brown, Kim Stoval, Anne Gellman, Michael Curry, Chey Perdue, John Cruz, Bobbi, Lark Syrris, Sarah Booten, Susan Folwell, and for those whose hurt, burdens, and fears go unspoken.

For those on our long-term prayer list: Carl Youngberg, Noel McGraw, Ora & Eugene Washington, Helen LoRusso, Jane Dobrowski, Chester Richard, Peg Deppe, Ken Reid, Kirsten Rehnberg, Debi Armstrong, Suzanne Shear, Ann J, James Guite, Nina Chinn, Jim Crandall, Lionel Edes, Clara Maddox, Kamila and Kathy, Mary Logue

For those around the world: the people of Gaza and Israel, the people of Ukraine and all affected by war; and our brothers and sisters in Cuernavaca, Mexico; Renk, Sudan; and throughout Latin America and East Africa

For those who celebrate birthdays this week:

12/25 - Tracey Lemon

12/26 - Charles Rogers, David Brummer

12/27 - Michael Hatzis

12/28 - Kate Lewis-Lakin

12/29 - Clayton Fayer, Kathy Pierce

For those who celebrate anniversaries this week:

12/30 - Julia & Mike Kurtz

For those married from All Saints: Lelia Ann Fry and Tye Kuo-Lun, who were married on Friday, December 22

For those who have died: especially for NaShawnda Barber, mother of Elektra Voyante. May her soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

If you'd like to have someone included in our community prayers, visit our website.

Request Prayer

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