News for the Week of:
December 3, 2023
We turn suddenly, swiftly, from the time of feasting and harvest to a time of quiet and reflection, a time of pondering and yearning.
If you will forgive my hubris for a moment, I think there are some things the Episcopal Church does very, very well. Our funerals are spectacular, balancing solemnity and celebration, recognizing sorrow while offering resurrection hope, all couched in the beautiful language of the prayer book. We also observe Advent very well, giving the season its due without merely turning it into an on ramp to Christmas.
Advent is a jewel box of a season, beautiful and brief. This year our four Advent Sundays our especially precious as the last Sunday of Advent transforms into Christmas Eve at sundown.
I am not so naïve as to think our lives will become suddenly peaceful and contemplative in this season. For those of you with children or those who are teachers, this is an especially busy time of year. For all of us, there is much to do; it can be easy to just sort of miss this lovely time.
But perhaps we can all focus on yearning . . . . What are your longings? What are your hopes? What do you want so much you can barely dare to admit it?
Advent is a season of yearning, and we all have time to let those yearnings dwell in our hearts. We yearn for the kingdom to come, for the child in the manger, for the Prince of Peace to bring the peace that passes all understanding, we search for the light as the days grow darker, we long for hope when all around us seems hopeless. Let those yearnings rise in you as prayer, creating a space for Christ.
Blessed Advent, Friends. See you in church.
P. S. If this is a time when good works would be encouragement for your spirit and balm for your soul, please consider volunteering with other members of All Saints at the RCS Mobile Food Pantry next Saturday. See the article below.
Beer and Carols: the return of an All Saints holiday tradition!
On Sunday, December 10 at 6:30pm, members of the All Saints community will descend upon O'Shaughnessy's Public House at 4557 N. Ravenswood (the corner of N. Ravenswood and W. Wilson) to belt out Christmas carols while drinking beer or other yummy beverages! Invite your friends!
Worship and Service at All Saints
Advent clean-up day: TOMORROW, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2!
We'll provide the cleaning supplies, lists of tasks, and lunch. All we need is YOU! Join us on Saturday, December 2 at 9:00am in the church. We'll clean until about 11:30am and then have a quick lunch.
Please RSVP to Courtney if you plan to attend so we have enough sandwiches.
Singers needed for Advent Lessons and Carols
If you're looking for a way to give back to the community, meet some wonderful people, and have a great time doing it, please consider joining the All Saints choir for Advent Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 17.
We'll rehearse on Thursdays from 7:00-8:30pm and Saturdays from 9:00-10:30am until the service on December 17. Join us for as many rehearsals as you can, hopefully 3 out of the 5!
For more information, you can either write our Music Director Colin Collette or talk to him after a service on Sunday.
Last call for the 2023 All Saints Christmas Pageant cast!
It’s not too late, but the good parts are going fast! We're still looking for a few more players, for both speaking and non-speaking parts. Be part of the annual theatrical Christmas event that’s been called “inspiring,” “incredible,” and “somewhat… well… nontraditional.” This year’s theme is BARBIE - because the day of Jesus’s birth is the best day ever! Performances take place Sunday, December 17 during the 9:00am and 11:00am services.
Our first read-through of the script is this Sunday, December 3 at 10:00am.
To sign up your child,or for more information contact Polly at
Click on this link for more info about rehearsal times.
This Advent, what can we learn
from a Common Loon?
“Ten million years before any human heard them, loons shivered the lakes with their calls. But by early September, they prepare for another life.” That life involves letting go of more than their bright plumage. To survive, they must join a community for strength and travel afar until ultimately, they have no flight feathers at all.
Gayle Boss’s meditation for the Second Week of Advent follows the life cycle of the Common Loon in her book All Creation Waits: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings (Paraclete Press, 2016). How can we cope with the changing circumstances of our lives? How might we be called to transformation?
Members of the Green Team and the Worship Committee invite you to listen to a parish storyteller read aloud Boss’s short meditation on how the Common Loon transforms over time in adjusting to new circumstances. Everyone is invited to join in the second conversation of our 4-week Advent series! You need not have attended the first session. Just come and listen to the story and to each other. We'll gather on Zoom this coming Wednesday, December 6 at 7:00pm.
If you wish to use this book throughout Advent as your daily Advent devotional practice, you can buy the book in print (new and used) or as an e-book. A children’s edition for ages 3-8 is also available.
Join us on Zoom:
Meeting ID: 857 8465 4039
For additional creation-themed Advent resources—both devotional and practical—for you and your family, download this PDF with links.
All Saints Youth Group: Upcoming plans
All Saints Youth Group meets from 3:30-5:30pm on Sundays. We welcome youth ages 12 and older, and you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. On Sunday, December 10, we'll be decorating cookies!
Hope to see you at our next meeting!
Ravenswood Light Up Nights: Starting December 15, 5:00pm
All Saints will be hosting the official kick-off event for the beloved neighborhood tradition: Ravenswood Light Up Nights. There will be a fun craft activity, a tree lighting, Dave Wernette-Harnden will be playing carols with his brass quintet, and more! All Saints will be providing homemade hot cocoa packets as a way to advertise and (gasp!) evangelize.
A small team is needed to help make the packets. This will happen right after the 11:00am service on Sunday, December 10. It should only be an hour or two of work. Please let Joe Wernette-Harnden (email@example.com) know if you'd be interested in helping.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Saints Book Club
Autumn 2023 - Winter 2024
The All Saints Book Club meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7:30pm on Zoom. If you're not a regular attendee, email Mike Burke at email@example.com for a meeting invite.
This year, the club continues to support the book sanctuary initiative by including at least one banned book in its reading plan. Our next meeting will be on December 14 to discuss Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep.
Volunteers Needed for December: 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. So far 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!
Revive Christmas Baskets: Thank you!
Thanks again for your enthusiastic response to our call for basket volunteers. It's great to see the Reading Room so full of All Saints parishioners' generosity!
All in all, 30 families from All Saints sent out 55 boxes to 26 households benefitting 77 individuals including (among many other things) 6 televisions, 2 car seats, a wheelchair, lots of clothes, toys, kitchenware, sheets, towels, and blankets.
All Saints volunteers for the RCS Mobile Pantry:
Saturday, December 9
On Saturday, December 9 from 8:00-11:00am, All Saints is volunteering at the Ravenswood Community Services Mobile Pantry at Ravenswood Elementary School (corner of Montrose and Paulina). We'll need 10 volunteers to help set up and distribute groceries from the school parking lot.
The Mobile Pantry provides a selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, and non-perishable food items in a farmer’s market-style atmosphere at no charge to families in need of food assistance. It’s a great chance to hang out with All Saints folks and serve others. Families are welcome. The pantry is outdoors and we won’t have access to the school building, so please dress accordingly.
You can sign up here and contact Courtney with any questions.
Refugee arrivals continue, but All Saints is meeting the challenge
Here's how coats, sweaters, sleeping bags, and other items collected by parishioners and friends were distributed in November:
- 16 children's coats and one Amazon carrier were taken to Care for Real to distribute to refugees visiting its pantries.
- 29 adult coats and two Amazon carriers were taken to the District 16 police station for distribution there and at O'Hare airport.
- 7 children's coats, 3 pairs of snowpants, and assorted hats, gloves, and winter gear, along with one Amazon carrier, were taken to Murphy School for their closet for children at the Marine Shelter on Foster.
- 7 children's coats, 6 adult coats, 1 sleeping bag, assorted blankets, vests, hats, and scarves, and four Amazon carriers were taken to the Chi Welcome's police station response team storage site for distribution to newly arrived migrants.
- 8 sleeping bags, 3 blankets, 7 adult coats, and two storage bags were taken to the 11th District Police Station.
- 5 men's coats, 3 men's sweaters, and 1 pair of men's snow pants were taken to the Albany Park Free Store, for refugees placed in permanent housing.
Refugees keep arriving, so Annie Logue is still collecting and distributing items. To arrange a drop-off or pickup, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vestry: a call to serve
If you're interested in serving All Saints as a member of our vestry or a diocesan representative, please apply online by January 8, 2024!
As a member of the All Saints Vestry, you'll participate in the oversight of the financial and spiritual health of the church. Fiscal responsibilities include reviewing and approving financial statements as prepared by the Treasurer; approving and institutionalizing recommendations from the Finance Committee concerning budget, loan, and investment activities; and managing our physical plant resources. You'll engage in the spiritual health of the church by supporting our mission and our ministries, offering time and energy to members of the congregation through both group and one-on-one interactions. Each Vestry member is expected to attend monthly meetings and to participate in the preparation and realization of the Annual Meeting at which Vestry and Warden elections are held. Any pledge-paying member of the church sixteen years or older is eligible.
If you'd like to find out more about how the Vestry works, we'll be hosting a Vestry Information Coffee Hour at some point in the near future. Stay tuned for further details!
Upcoming vestry meeting schedule
Our next Vestry meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 12 to avoid colliding with any Christmas festivities.
Altar Guild: Bryan Matias
Acolytes: Willem Kapteyn Dekkinga, Claire Kasten, & Skip Yates
Altar Guild: Margaret Dunn & Nick Hatzis
Ushers: Lori Sweeney & Alice Wozniak
Lectors: Ben Sweeney & Nina Wilfred
Intercessor: Jennifer Christy
Chalice: Nina Wilfred & Chad Kruse
Acolyte: Joshua Harris & Bruce Harris
Altar Guild: Alexandra Sandin & Frances Thomas
Ushers: Amy Healey & John Williams
Lectors: Tery DiLisio & Bill McHugh
Intercessor: Lorraine Langer
Chalice: Bill McHugh & Gretchen Schlabach
Media Ministry: Jacob Farmer (Audio), June Coyne (Camera), Lorraine Painter (FB Greeter)
Those who suffer in mind, body, or spirit: especially for Chay Perdue, John Cruz, Bobbi, Lark Syrris, Sarah Booten, Susan Folwell, Kristine Richards, Patricia & Charles Simokaitis, Sr., 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:
12/4 - Aria Hoesley
12/5 - Ruth Frey, Larry Dieckmann
12/6 - Tony Swain
12/7 - Jim Crandall, Jack Rivers, Kristin Fayer, Josephine Thomas
12/8 - Barbara Manley
12/9 - Venessa Fawley, Peggy Cushing, Nick Hatzis
For those who celebrate anniversaries this week:
12/6 - Keith Fisher & John Hildebrand
12/8 - David & Venessa Fawley
For those who have died: May 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.