All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago

Bonnie Perry

Rector

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I have been the pastor here at All Saints' since November 1, 1992. I care deeply about preaching, outreach, pastoral care, congregational development and sea kayaking.

"My hope is to continue creating a community where people come to ask the deep questions of life."

Questions like: How can I make a difference in the world? What happens when I die? Must I embrace a particular dogma or doctrine to be a spiritual person? I don't believe that any one individual can answer these questions. However, I do think a worshipping community made up of other people who are also wrestling with these important issues can offer perspectives that will help each of us along our own life journey. I also believe that each of us has been given a unique gift by God that we may choose to use to better our world.

bonnieboatA core belief at All Saints' is that the Gospel doesn't matter a rat's tail if it doesn't change people's lives. So we invite people to discern what their gifts may be and then find many and varied ways to make use of these gifts to begin changing our world.

When I'm not doing church-I'm reading or writing or better yet-I'm out on Lake Michigan paddling my kayak or at the Skokie Lagoons teaching other people how to paddle their sea kayaks.

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Bonnie has a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA; A Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York, NY; and A Doctor of Ministry in Congregational Development from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL.

In the world of sea kayaking Bonnie is an American Canoe Association (ACA) Level 4 Open Water Instructor Trainer. In the British Canoe Union (BCU) Bonnie was the fourth woman in North America to obtain the 5 Star-Sea Leader Award (for non-paddling people this means she is certified to lead people in advanced tidal waters), she holds the Level 3 Sea United Kingdom Coaching Certificate, she is a 3 star sea assessor and with our friends to the North in Paddle Canada, Bonnie is a level 2 instructor. In addition, Bonnie is also a Wilderness First Responder.

During her vacation she coaches and guides sea kayaking around the world in Baja, New Zealand, Scotland and Canada. She is a regional paddling ambassador for Kokatat Watersport Clothing, Riverside Kayak Connection, Seals Sprayskirts and Werner paddles.

Prior to coming to All Saints' Bonnie was:

  • Interim Rector at St. Peter's in Clifton, NJ
  • Associate Rector at Christ Church in Ridgewood, NJ
  • Parish Missioner at Christ Church, in Hackensak, NJ

Bonnie was ordained in 1990 by the Rt. Rev. John S. Spong, Bishop, Diocese of Newark.