All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago

Forgiveness and Repentance

“Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”

Jesus is leaving them.

They’ve really only just gotten him back.

They have followed him, they were with him when he stood in his hometown synagogue and read from the prophet Isaiah,

“The Spirit of the Lord God
has anointed me to bring good news to the poor,
to proclaim release to the prisoners,
recovery of sight to the blind
to liberate the oppressed
and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor—

They were there when he put the scroll down and all who heard him were astonished by the authority by which he spoke.

They were there.

They were there when he healed the man with the unclean spirits,

There when he laid out his vision for the world—

Blessed are those who are poor for the Kingdom of God is yours
Blessed are those who hunger for you shall be satisfied
Blessed are those who mourn for you shall laugh….

There when he said, “Stop judging and you will not be judged…forgive and you will be forgiven…”

There—when the unclean woman, the one who had been bleeding for 12 years, in hope and out of desperation touched his garment and was immediately healed and how he—never rebuked her—instead he praised her for her faith….

They were there and overwhelmed when he told the story of the ever-forgiving loving father who welcomed back his prodigal son, they saw then the depth of his care and compassion,

They were there when he broke bread and drank wine with Zacchaeus the conniving, scamming tax collector and saw afterward how Zacchaeus changed—they heard him when he said, “The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.”

They had been there for almost all of it—his entry into Jerusalem—that didn’t do at all what they had hoped—no uprising—no people’s revolt against the Roman occupiers—only the beginning of the end—

They were there for that end—or what they thought was the end—at least the women stayed. The women watched him writhe in agony, forgive his captures, shout for help, filled with despair, the women who stayed saw him dead and told the story.

The same women back three days later found the tomb empty and the angels saying, “Why do you—look for the living among the dead? He is not here he is risen.”

And now for the last 40 days, risen, alive, he has been with them, offering them a vision of hope and change beyond what their minds could have imagined. Now he is leaving them, returning to our Lord in Heaven.

What does Jesus say to them before he leaves? What instructions does he offer?

“Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”

Repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed to all nations beginning in Jerusalem.

This is Luke’s Gospel. Jesus’ parting directions to his followers, wait for the Holy Spirit it will soon be with you, go back to Jerusalem and wait there, but when the Holy Spirit has come to you and you do go out and start to tell this story, the point is to say, “Repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be preached to all.”

In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus’ last words are for the apostles to go out and make disciples of all people, baptizing them in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit.

Maybe I’m wrong—but I don’t see all of us going out and baptizing people, making disciples. Even I’m a bit uncomfortable with these directions. I actually baptize people. I love doing it. But mostly I’m baptizing the people who come to me asking to be baptized. I’m not out on the corner offering it as a possibility. Maybe I should, but I don’t see it happening any time soon.

That said, I think Jesus’ last words as recorded in Luke’s gospel—I think this is a real possibility for me and you, for all of us.

What if we lived our lives, this afternoon, tomorrow morning, evening and the next day and the day after that—over and over again—imparting with our words and our actions that our sins, my sins, your sins, their sins, can and will be—shall be forgiven.

What if we lived our lives, with our children, our spouse, our friends, colleagues and with strangers, what if everything about the way we interacted with people indicated to them and to us that their sins and our sins could indeed be forgiven?

Can you remember a time when someone forgave you? Can you remember a time when you screwed up:

Massively
Messed up
Fell short
Missed the mark
Sinned and someone forgave you?

Do you remember the sense of hope
Freedom?
Heaviness that lifted?

What, dear friends, would our lives look like if we began to offer forgiveness?

What would it look like if knowing that forgiveness was an option, if we began to own our mistakes and repent?

What would our city look like if we began openly and regularly repenting of our screw-ups?

If we repented of our North side ignorance and insularity?
If we repented of our privilege?
What would happen if we repented of our blindness to the isms of our city’s structures and the manner in which we have benefitted?

What would happen if we lived our lives, ready to forgive?
Lived our lives in such a way that all whom we encountered would have a sense that from God and from us there is another chance to do things right?

How might our lives change? Our communities be altered?

I don’t see us out baptizing people on the street corners, but forgiveness, repentance we could preach that, we could live that

How about today—we start?

Copyright Bonnie A. Perry 2016

 

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Dear Friends,

As wildfires in California continue to burn and Illinois Republicans of Lake County hold a fundraiser where an assault rifle and an assortment of other guns will be raffled, we might begin to find ourselves losing hope. Yet as people of faith we are called to not let ourselves be carried from the shore by a rip of despair. We are called to hope and to action and to prayer, perhaps in that order and perhaps in another. Action, hope, and prayer. Prayer, hope, and action.
 
And yes, we are also called to create space for rest and for sorrow. I am unclear how any one of us can read the newspapers, listen to the radio, immerse ourselves on our Facebook and Twitter feeds and not be filled with grief and sorrow.
 
So on Sunday, come join me as we create space for sadness and grief while simultaneously praying for change and acting in hope. I’ll be preaching, Emily will be celebrating, and Colin and our choir will be creating music that offers balm for our souls. 
 
In the midst of all that is going on in the world, our slice of the global community experienced a dear loss in the death of Jeanne Marie Uzdawinis. Jeanne, her husband John Boesche, and their daughter Maddy have been longtime friends of All Saints’, always supporting our ministries. Jeanne was a co-owner and co-founder of Cafe Selmarie, one of Lincoln Square’s and Ravenswood’s best restaurants. Here's an obituary that appeared in the Sun-Times on Tuesday. Services for Jeanne will be held at All Saints’ on Saturday, October 28 at 5:00 pm. I am honored and so so very sad to be officiating at Jeanne’s memorial service. I miss her so very much. 
 
And through it all, we continue on as a people of hope, action, and prayer.
 
Enjoy the weather. We’ve got that in our favor.
 
All my best,
Bonnie
 
Stop by the church tomorrow or Sunday-we’ll be welcoming hundreds of visitors as once again we will be a part of Open House Chicago.

kellybdWe are very excited that the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas will be spending a weekend with us this fall, September 23 and 24. Kelly was formerly the Canon Theologian at our National Cathedral. In the fall she will become the first Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School, now located at Union Theological Seminary. We've invited Kelly to spend the weekend with us so that we might again return to our work on confronting racism. Kelly is an amazing preacher and theologian and we are beyond honored that she is making time in her incredibly busy schedule to be with us. Look for more details in the next few weeks on the spirituality and theology that we will be exploring together. 

In the event that you find yourself looking for some interesting summer reading, here are some books she has suggested we investigate: HomecomingThe Color of Law, and one by Kelly called Stand Your Ground. She also suggested that watching 13th on Netflix would be helpful.

Racism is an issue that we are called to confront and challenge and end. It is not something that will just die a gentle death. Our hope is that with our time with Kelly and one another, we may again return to this important work. 

midnightFall Reading List Selected

The All Saints Book Club has defined its reading list through the fall. The meetings start at 7:30 PM usually at the home of a member. The locations and further details are on our Facebook page. Here is the schedule for the next several months:

  • August 10 - "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" by John Berendt
  • September 14 - "Operation Breadbasket" by Martin Deppe (meet in the Reading Room at the church)
  • October 12 - "Saints and Villains" by Denise Giardina
  • November 9 - "The Haunting of Hill House" by Shirley Jackson
  • December 14 - Pick your own poetry book and share favorite poem(s)

For additional information, contact Mike Burke (mebcat@gmail.com)

Gardening at 10am

churchschool2010

For the rest of June and July - although Sunday school classes do not meet at 10 during the summer - Atrium I will continue to be open during the 9 o'clock service until the end of July. Atrium I children who attend the 11 o'clock service will be welcome in the nursery during the service.

At 10 o'clock children are encouraged to come help water, weed and harvest vegetables from the garden we're planting to support the Ravenswood Community Services kitchen and food pantry

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!

 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!

 

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.

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.

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 website@allsaintschicago.org and he will send a user name, password, and instructions.

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 care@allsaintschicago.org. You'll be contacted when a need arises and you can sign up to help at your convenience.

 

tinaParishioner, Tina Tchen, accepts Bishop Maryann Budde's invitation to preach at the National Cathedral Sunday, May 8. Click here to see the video.

 

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

1883 Construction web 

This week’s stories of the bell tower: The beams and posts in the bell tower are being filled with epoxy and fungicide to prevent future insect damage and to restore their strength and integrity. Here are some photos of the work currently taking place. Everywhere you see white is where the post or beam is being rebuilt, restored and protected.
 
The blue hue in the photo is from the tarp surrounding the bell tower enabling Ron Young and his crew to continue working in the dropping temperatures.
 
 

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

Email info@allsaintschicago.org 

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.