All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago

Upside Down on a Trampoline

upsidedowntrampoline360

Advent 1

Isaiah 2: 1-5
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:36-44

Bonnie A. Perry

For some 25 years I have been preaching from these Advent readings. For some 25 years I have read the passages that talk of a time of chaos in the world: wars, earthquakes and famines. And for 25 years I have thought—'oh look at this—this could be .....look at these connections.' But then this year came along. All I could think was whoa...Not good.

It is an odd time for me. It may be an odd time for you. It, for sure, is an odd time for our country and, I believe, for our world. Hilary Clinton is out grocery shopping and Donald Trump is picking a cabinet. My Facebook feed shows me photos of native Americans on horses, facing down white Americans, with guns, truncheons, and armored cars, while here in Chicago, 36 people were shot, 4 killed thus far this weekend. Tell me that this doesn't feel like we are living in an upside down trampoline.

Last Sunday, between leading her morning worship service and officiating at a memorial service, my spouse Susan had a seizure and was taken to the hospital by the paramedics. She is ok. Working now at her church. She doesn't have a brain tumor, we have more tests to come, it may be childhood epilepsy returning. But what I want you to know, is that hearing that something had happened to her, well I cannot remember a time when I have been so surprised and confounded.

Yes. Bouncing, upside down on a trampoline.

" You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night if far gone, the day is near, let us lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light..." Romans 13: 11-12

Time to wake from sleep. How might we do that? How might we throw off the covers of our comfort, the quilts of our privilege and stand in this cold morning of a new day?

Biblical Scholar, Walter Brueggemann, has counseled preachers and warned us of simplifying that which is terrifying, and attempting to explain what is inexplicable. He warns of trying to neatly solve, the world's woes with prose. [This from a man who has written a fair amount of prose...]

Instead he says we do better by letting go of succinct reasons and instead sit with, name and lament with poetry.

With this in mind I offer to you a censored advent poem by Micah J. Murray

Rend the Heavens (A psalm for advent).

Oh that you would

Rend the heavens and come down!
(That's what the church people say on the first Sunday of Advent.)
Light a candle
and burn it all the way down
And yet the darkness remains.

Oh that you would rend the inky blackness
and crash into this ice cold planet
in an explosion of light
Again.

How long oh Lord?
How long oh Lord?
How long oh Lord?

___________this ______________,
oh Lord.

This is my tired advent prayer.
__________this _______________
indeed. Amen.
Which being translated, means:
How long oh Lord?
Until you heal what has been
Rent nearly beyond repair.
Wait. Stay Awake.
Lean into the longing. Hope
Against the darkness.
But I tired of waiting.
I am impatient with patience
And oh by the way,
I'm tired of being tired too.

So __________this _____________.
Or rend the heavens and come down.
Either one will do.
Sometimes the only thing left to do
is simply
hold onto each other and dance
in the darkness,
waiting
for the light.
But I'm tired of it.

Time to wake from sleep. How might we do that? How might we throw off the covers of our comfort, the quilts of our privilege and stand in this cold morning of a new day?

I have no easy answers. No set pretty prayers. All I have is you. Here. Now. All of us. Together.

Let us hold on to each other. Not go back to bed as comforting as those blankets may be. Let us hold on and reach out, reach across all the lines in the sand and through the walls of the borders between every fixed chasm that surrounds us.

Bouncing upside down on the trampoline, is never a time to be alone.

Amen.

 

  1. This Week
  2. Services Times
  3. Contact Us
  4. Sermons
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,
    Bonnie

     

    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

    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.