All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago

Keeping our Eyes on Jerusalem

The Rev. Fran Holliday
Sunday June 30, 2013
All Saints’ 8,9 and 11:00 a.m. services
Luke 9:51-62

“When the days drew near for Jesus to be taken up, He set his sights on Jerusalem.”

Jesus was on a mission.

He was determined.

He knew what he was about, he knew where he was going.

“He set his sights on Jerusalem.”

Jesus was on his way to the cross, the grave and, ultimately, to resurrection glory. That was his purpose and nothing was going to stop Him from fulfilling the redemptive work of God in the world.

Let’s take a quick look at his ministry again.

Right from the start Jesus’ actions drew criticisms from even those who knew him—and yet he continued on. Luke’s Gospel tell us that while Jesus was in the synagogue in his home town He angered people so much while preaching a message of inclusion, that he was driven out and almost hurled off of a cliff. But he moved on to Capernaum and continued his Ministry.

He was undeterred.

Jesus worked steadfastly to include those on the margins of society, the untouchables, the seemingly unlovable. He was always dinning with the outcasts, tax collectors  and undesirables. He was a boundary breaker, and he continued on despite the deeply rooted social norms and pressures of his day.

Remember when he spoke to the Samaritan woman, at the well, something no self respecting Jew would ever do? Jesus was always turning heads. Jesus taught that showing justice, mercy and compassion were paramount to following the ways of God. He did this repeatedly in the face of great opposition. In the synagogue on the Sabbath he cured a man with a withered hand and cast out demons. He would stop at nothing despite the fact that these actions were in direct opposition to the law and drew increasingly hostile reactions.

Jesus was unwavering in his ministry of inclusion, and love for all people especially toward those who could not care for themselves, the widow, the child, the sick and the hungry. He was moved with compassion to act time and again on behalf of the powerless, and he wanted those around him, most especially those in power to do the same.

For those who wanted to follow Jesus then and those of us who struggle to follow him now, we are reminded in today’s gospel that this ministry—to transform the world into a world of justice and mercy, has a cost.

For Jesus it was going to Jerusalem. He literally gave his life for this. There are of course the usual stellar examples of individuals who have followed the call and have done this in a very literal way, for instance  Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela who was jailed for twenty six years of his life. However each one of us is called to this ministry. But we have to decide if we’re going to make that unwavering commitment. We have to decided if we’re going to keep our eyes on Jerusalem.

This week President Obama traveled with his family to Goree Island which is off the cost of Darkar Senegal. There they visited a small slave house where men, women and children were shackled, weighed and traded before being sent across the Atlantic. As President Obama stood in the doorway, of the house called, “The Door of no Return” He said, “I think more than anything what it reminds us of is that we have to remain vigilant when it comes to the defense of people’s human rights, because I am a firm believer that humanity is basically good, but it’s only good when good people stand up for what is right.” ( Chicago Tribune, 6/27/13)

Our call is to stand up as Jesus did, for the outcasts and the marginalized. Agreeing with policies or believing that something is just or unjust  is not enough. We must stand up for it, we must work for it. There are times that we are called to take action, no matter the cost. Sometimes, we must just live it. 

This week we saw an extraordinary example of an ordinary every day person who made an unwavering commitment to justice. Edith Windsor the 84 year woman who was the plaintiff in the Defense of Marriage Act case that reached the Supreme court showed commitment and courage as she agreed to go forward with her case. She herself by her own admission has very little to gain from this case. She stated that she is in the last years of her life and she had to think twice about suing the federal government over a tax bill. She was unsure at first if she wanted to enter the fray over this issue, but once her case started through the courts she knew there was no turning back.

When asked why she did it she said, she didn’t  want the government to deem that her 44 year relationship with her partner was nothing.  But mostly she was doing it for the next generation. Edith expressed her hope that, perhaps, it will help young people feel they are not alone, maybe it will end suicides and make people realize there is nothing wrong with them.

Edith did not have to do this but she felt it was a justice issue that would touch generations to come. She kept her eyes on her Jerusalem.

Today’s gospel is a powerful reminder that we too are called to do the redemptive work of God in the world. We too are called to keep our eyes on Jerusalem.



Copyright Fran Holliday  June 2013

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Annual Meeting Jan. 28, 2018: Rector's Address

Annual Meeting Jan. 28, 2018: Rector's Address

Here is a link to download Bonnie's address.

Weekly Message for February 18

Weekly Message for February 18

Dear Friends,    


How much longer will the killing continue? 
Here are some groups and activities you might consider supporting with your time and your money: 
  • The IL Council Against Handgun Violence 
  • Moms Demand Action 
  • Gabby Giffords' PAC 

  • And here's a list of congressional representatives who have received the most amount of money from the National Rifle Association. Apparently they are all praying for the people in Florida directly affected by our country’s latest mass shooting. I invite you to pray for their souls and to drop them a note wondering if God is answering their prayers. Will it make a difference? I don’t know. But, being held hostage by a diabolical association that has convinced our elected officials that it is the God-given, constitutionally-sanctioned right of every American to wander around with a semi-automatic rifle is absurd. Seems like all of us ought to start loudly pointing out this insanity.
    I’ll be at the Moms Demand Action Lakeview gathering on the 24th of February. Let me know if you’d like to come with me. Please let me know what other courses of action you plan to take to end gun violence in our country.
    This evening, All Saints’ will be hosting a gathering for the friends, family, and neighbors of our long-term neighbor John Vanzo at 7:00. Tomorrow morning at 10:30 there will be a visitation in the sanctuary and a memorial service at 11:00 am. All are welcome. 
    I’m super excited that we will finally kick off the All Saints’ Youth Group with an overnight this Saturday. Please RSVP to Hilary Waldron if your 7-12 grade child is planning on attending. 
    Following the 11:00 Worship service we will have a Newcomer’s Brunch at O’Shaughnessy’s at 12:15. Please join us!
    This Sunday, Emily will be preaching, I’ll be celebrating, and our choir will be singing some wonderfully moving Lenten music. It seems like the right time to be praying and repenting. So please come and join me.
    All my best,


    Memorial Service for John Vanzo

    Memorial Service for John Vanzo

    AUGUST 13 2013 11The memorial service for our friend and neighbor John Vanzo will be held at All Saints' this Saturday the 17th, at 11:00 am. There will be a visitation in the sanctuary prior to the service, beginning at 10:30am. All are welcome. 

    On Friday evening, the 16th, we will host a time of conversation and story telling for John's friends and family. All are invited from 7 to 9pm to share a drink, and hear and tell a favorite story of the very many sides of John.

    May John's soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.


    Lenten Evening Prayer

    Lenten Evening Prayer

    On Thursdays, February 15-March 22, brief services of Evening Prayer will be offered at 7:00pm, with scripture, poetry, and song. Come find rest for your souls.

    Inquirers’ Class

    Inquirers’ Class

    On Thursdays, February 15—March 22, the Inquirers’ Class will take place in the Reading Room next to the sanctuary. Designed especially but not exclusively for those new to All Saints’ and/or the Episcopal Church, this 6-week series is an exploration of adult spirituality through history, prayer, scriptures, theology, church polity, and more. If desired, it may also serve as preparation for the rite of confirmation or reception into the Episcopal Church in May or June.

    The book we’ll refer to occasionally in the class is called Jesus was an Episcopalian (and you can be one, too!): A Newcomer’s Guide to the Episcopal Church by Chris Yaw. If you’re interested in joining the class, consider getting a copy to look over.

    Contact Bonnie or Emily for more info.

    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!

    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.

    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.