All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago

Snow Epiphanies

January 5, 2014

When was the last time you went out of your way for God?

Either looking for signs of God or acting in such a way that someone might say—wow he or she really must have a faith or a commitment to something more than the immediate. She or he—is living by a noticeably different set of values. When was the last time you went out of your way for God or for your faith?

I'm not talking about the things you may or may not do here at church—although those activities could certainly count. I'm talking about when was the last time you altered your course, your behavior, your trajectory to bear witness to or enhance your spiritual beliefs? When was the last time you went out of your way for God?

What would it take to change your path? Because that's the point...isn't it? "Behold I bring good news of great joy—unto you is born—in the city of David—a savior who is Christ the Lord. And now days later— what are we doing differently?"

The magi, the three kings, the wise ones from afar—they have seen a sign and are looking for its earthly cause. Something has happened in the heavens, something has transpired in the night skies enough to agitate, motivate and captivate their sense of self. Something has happened, enough to divert them, pull them out of their typical lives to go and see this thing which has been made known to them. An epiphany a revelation is waiting to happen—if they are willing to go and see.

Epiphanies are rarely delivered to us on steak platters, medium rare waiting to be consumed. Typically a little bit of work is involved, some investment required. An epiphany usually requires a willingness to see, experience and interact with the revelation. To spend some time knowing—epiphanies from God from the divine are no different.

When was the last time you went out of your way for God?

The wise ones of old, traveled how far? How long? Looking, searching, seeking.

Epiphany: a revelation, an inspiration, an encounter encouraging us, beckoning us to look, to see things anew.

Which brings me to snow. Epiphany.

Snow is evidence that something can seemingly appear out of thin air and transform our entire view of the world. Snow for me is one big frozen Epiphany.

I always say that I am looking for an epiphany: a sign from God—but rarely, I realize, do I slow down long enough to see anything unusual. Which is why, at least one of the reasons why I adore snow. For there is no way, for us to be fast when we deal with snow. Particularly here in Chicago, in this glaciated-pancake of a city of ours--where we have precious few hills to slide down, not even gravity can move us through snow fast. Snow is catalyst for revelation. We move slower in snow. Things look and feel different.

When you walk through the new stuff, shuffle through the virgin untouched places, do you notice how you scuff your feet along? Watching the white clouds puff out in front of your toes, causing mini-tidal bores along the sidewalks?

Or what about, what when the snow is no longer new? When the temperatures drop precipitously. How then does it sound? The scritch, scritch, squeak and crunch as I plod along to the El—because there is no way— there is no way I'm going to leave my newly dug out parking place so just any old slacker can pull in and reap the reward of my hard work....What does it sound like as we make our way down the street? Can we even hear the crunch over the restless noise of the wind?

Snow is catalyst for Epiphanies. As I trudge along, lamenting the clods of it that accumulate behind the tongue of my boot, next to my sock, can its penetrating cold make me think of all that I feel each day? The sensations that come and go, washing over me without more than a momentary notice?

Snow is a catalyst for Epiphanies. What's it mean to be cold? What's it mean to be warm? Why do some of us have the means to be relatively comfortable in the storms of winter and others live precariously on the edge of exposure?

Epiphanies, whether they are stars in the sky or endless flakes of snow cascading down, epiphanies require—that we alter our typical course and behavior. Epiphanies invite us to alter our paths and begin to see all that is around us.

On this day—what might your snow epiphany be?

Copyright: Bonnie A. Perry January 2014


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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.