All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago

The Call is Soon Coming

October 15, 2017
Psalm 23

May the God who creates us...

Evil counts on our attention span being short.

I came over to the church last night in the dark, in the midst of yesterday's never-ending thunderstorm, to sit on the floor as the lightning flashed. Izzy, my Australian shepherd, followed me over and curled in my lap. She is terrified of thunder. I'm enthralled with thunder unless I'm in a tent. It's the light, the flash the crash and the bang that get my attention. And last night, I needed to place to pray. (It turns out my house is conveniently located next to a church, a fact which I sometimes seem to forget.)

The never-ending natural turbulence of our world, the gun violence in our city and country, layered upon the taunts and decrees of our government and the death of Jeanne Uzdawinis, long-time friend of this congregation and co-owner and co-founder of Café Sel Marie, well all of these things have formed a wave that has enveloped me leaving my soul icy and my heart sad.

On Thursday afternoon I learned that the Republicans of Lake County were holding a fundraising dinner the following evening to support the second amendment. At the dinner a wide variety of guns, including an assault rifle just like the one used in the Las Vegas massacre would be raffled off as prizes.

Friday, I canceled a vet appointment for Izzy, and drove out West of Buffalo Grove, to join some people who were protesting the dinner. I'm not a big protestor. But I could not think of anything else to do to register my horror that guns could be considered prizes. Particularly that the same gun, albeit without the "bump stock" could be a prize to be won, like a giant stuffed animal or a vacation for two at Disney World.

There were only about 40 or 50 protestors, armed with signs and American flags, but they were ecstatic at the large turnout. Really? The people attending the dinner outnumbered us 5 to 1. They had to pay $1000 to be there. When word got out that protestors might appear at the dinner the number of people attending the fundraiser doubled.

Where to begin?
When does it end?

Evil counts on our attention span being short.

The Call is soon coming. Yet—to be honest—I write these words, I hear myself saying them and I just want to curl up, like Izzy my Aussie in a thunderstorm. I just want to curl up, have someone hold me and wait for the front to pass, the rain to end, the noise to cease.

For once, right now, this day—that is what I am going to do. The call is soon coming and evil counts on our attention span being short, but right now, for this hour, for this time let us breathe and hear again, anew the healing words of three thousand years ago.

The Lord is my shepherd.
I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;
      He leadeth me beside still waters.
He restoreth my soul;
      He restoreth my soul;
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his Name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil
      I will fear no evil;
For Thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff,
      They comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of
      mine enemies;
      thou anointest my head with oil;
      my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days
      of my life
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Let us hear these words, hold these words, let them wash over us, thawing our souls and healing our hearts. We, in this world, are not in this world alone. There is one who will hold us tight in the storm. Then when the clouds clear, the wind dies, we will go. Together.

The call is soon coming.

I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.



  1. This Week
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Weekly Message for January 14

Weekly Message for January 14

Dear Friends,    

I hope you can join Susan and me for dinner this Saturday, January 13, at our home (4550 N. Hermitage Ave) from 6 to 9pm. We’ll have awesome food, created by Joe and David Wernette-Harden, lots of wonderful beverages, and free childcare if that will be helpful! This annual January dinner is a great time to hear about the vestry’s plans for the upcoming year, meet new people, and have a tasty dinner at my home. Please do come!
Sunday, January 28th we’ll have our Annual Meeting at 10:00 am. At the meeting we’ll have brunch (again lots of beverages) and our annual slide show. We’ll elect vestry members and diocesan representatives, review our budget for 2018, and honor several wonderful volunteers. On that Sunday, we’ll only have an 8:00 and 9:00 worship service. There will be NO 11:00 service.  
Emily is preaching this Sunday, I’ll be celebrating and our choir and Colin will be creating some great music. Stay warm, hold your loved ones near, and reach out to everyone in need.
All my best,
Please let me know if you are interested in serving on our vestry (governing council) or being a representative of this congregation at or Diocesan Convention in November.
Bags for RCS

Bags for RCS

We're running low on paper and reusable bags for our Tuesday night pantry. Please bring us your extras! 
We will be taking donations on Tuesday evenings, M-F 9am-4pm, and on Sundays during church services. Look for the bins by the doors. Thanks for your help!

Evening Prayer at The Breakers

Evening Prayer at The Breakers

 Sundays at 2pm

breakersbibleWe are very excited to announce that every Sunday at 2:00 pm, All Saints' offers something new at the Breakers - An Evening Prayer Service! Our first event was Sunday, December 4th, and went marvelously well - we had 13 attendees! Folks are very pleased that there's a Protestant service being offered in addition to the current choices (which are Catholic and Moody Bible.) The Prayer Service itself is printed in large print and in bulletin style with scripture taken each week from the Common Lectionary.

The weekly service starts at 2:00 pm, upstairs on the second floor Meditation Room, and lasts about 15 minutes. Please contact Paul Mallatt if you have questions, or comments at 773-860-4649. When you can, stop by the Breakers (5333 N Sheridan Rd) where the parking is free (for 2 hours), the coffee is hot, and the folks are friendly!


Community Kitchen Volunteers Needed

Community Kitchen Volunteers Needed

Tuesdays 6:15-8:00pm 

RCS is looking for help serving and cleaning up after dinner on Tuesdays from 6:15-8:00pm.

If you're able to volunteer, contact Emily or Operations Manager Parker Callahan, or call 773-769-0282.

New Opportunity: Hospitality Ministry

New Opportunity: Hospitality Ministry

helloDo you feel called to create an open, welcoming, hospitable environment at All Saints? Do you like meeting and connecting with people? Join the new Hospitality Ministry! Members of the Hospitality Ministry will help the clergy and vestry create a welcoming culture by greeting new members, engaging new faces at coffee hour, and helping connect new members of All Saints with our various programs.

Interested? Contact Diane Doran or Michelle Mayes. Include "Hospitality Ministry" in the subject line.

Join Our Member Directory!

Join Our Member Directory!

Our new Associate Rector, Emily Williams Guffey, is enjoying getting to know everyone in our congregation. Help her put names and faces together by adding yourself to our online directory!

If you are a member of All Saints' and haven't already registered for the directory, please contact our resident web guru Jim Crandall at and he will send a user name, password, and instructions.

Love on a Plate

Love on a Plate

Join the All Saints' Care Ministry! 

casseroleThe Care Ministry at All Saints' is a quiet one, simply providing meals after a new baby arrives, after surgery, during an illness. Because when life gets complicated, dinner is often the last thing on our minds--but sometimes a meal and visit from a friend is exactly what we need!

If you can provide a meal, give someone a ride, or run an errand once in awhile, please email You'll be contacted when a need arises and you can sign up to help at your convenience.


Donate to The 1883 Project

Donate to The 1883 Project

Please consider supporting the restoration project of our historic building. To make a donation, click here

1883 Construction web 

Fixing This Old Church

Fixing This Old Church

Here is a collection of photos of the progress of our 1883 Project. Here is a collection of bell tower photos. Check back often for updates.

Sunday Service Times

8:00 am Inclusive Language Eucharist
9:00 am Holy Eucharist with Choir
10:00 am Children's Church School
10:00 am Coffee Hour
11:00 am Holy Eucharist with Choir


Contact Us

4550 N. Hermitage in Chicago, IL 60640 (Directions)

Phone (773) 561-0111


Information about pastoral care.



Bonnie on Huffington Post

Occasionally Bonnie's sermons are published on the Huffington Post. Here are some links.

Pain. Change. Hope.

November 15, 2015

What Does St. Francis of Assisi Have to Say to Us Today?

October 4, 2015

Wake Up Calls

September 6, 2015

Christmas Reminds Us That We, Like God, Are Human, Too

December 24, 2014

The Deep Sleep of Racial Oblivion: One Pastor's Sin of Omission

November 30, 2014

Pulpit Swap

The Pulpit Swap between St Thomas and All Saints is part of our ongoing effort to bring our parishes closer together as we engage in a conversation about systemic racism and how we can work together to forge new possibilities and outcomes.

Going Home—Changed

Pulpit Swap Sermon By The Rev Bonnie Perry of All Saints Episcopal Church on October 16, 2016.  

When Prayers Go Unanswered

Pulpit Swap Sermon By The Rev Dr Fulton L Porter celebrating at All Saints Episcopal Church on Oct16 2016.