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from Ed Bacon

Greatness visited us at All Saints last Sunday. Bryan Stevenson has been called by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “America’s Mandela.” Bryan in his sermon and his Rector’s Forum presentation not only inspired us but also equipped us to be instruments of justice to the degree to which we live in proximity to those who are oppressed, develop a new narrative about those who are incarcerated, work perseveringly with hope, and are willing to be uncomfortable.

These next 60 days before I retire brings to All Saints Church more luminaries to inspire and transform us — as well as give us opportunities to reflect, laugh, pray, and praise together. I hope you will put the following events on your calendars and join me for opportunities for soul-enrichment. Together they form a rich tapestry of the passions and values we have shared for these past 21 years:

1. Leadership Matters. I will tell you everything I know about leadership in 4 hours on Saturday, March 5.

2. Healthy Farewells Make for Healthy Hellos. Choose one of the five “Listening Sessions” to join me in a conversation about the end of my work at All Saints and how the mission and movement of All Saints will continue into the future.

3. Where Neuroscience, Meditation, and Spirituality Meet. Our March 12 and 13 Lenten retreat, “Soul and Synapse” with my friend, Dr. Daniel Siegel, spotlights my intense interest in the Contemplative Life as well as the intersection of faith and psychology. Registration details are below. Dr. Siegel will be our Rector’s Forum speaker that Sunday.

4. Holy Week and Easter Journey through death and new life will lead us to celebrate the most moving and festive liturgies of the year on March 20-27.

5. Richard Rohr will stir us with his April 3 morning and evening teachings on an alternative orthodoxy which celebrates both the ancient spirituality of St. Francis and at the same time expresses a Christianity open both to science and to other world religions. He will also help us situate our work on racial justice, multiculturalism, and white privilege in the contemplative approach to life.

6. Inspirational Author, Mark Nepo will bring his teaching to All Saints on Tuesday night, April 5.

7. Rabbi Sharon Brous will be our Rector’s Forum guest on April 10. One of my best friends during my sojourn in Los Angeles, Rabbi Brous has been both spiritual friend and brilliant preacher and founder of the internationally applauded Ikar synagogue. She also brings deep wisdom about the intractable problems in Israel/Palestine.

8. A Tribute to Rabbi-in-residence, Leonard Beerman will be an April 11 evening of music, poetry, and readings from some of Rabbi Beerman’s most prophetically challenging sermons. A bevy of guests from Norman Lear, Alan Bergman, Salam and Laila al-Maryati, and Mary and George Regas will reflect on Leonard’s life joined by All Saints choristers singing some of Leonard’s favorite music from Leonard Bernstein.

9. Kim Rosen and the Power of Poetry: We are a poetry-loving faith community. Author, poet, and friend, Kim Rosen, will offer a workshop on the profound wisdom available in poetry on April 16 and then help us celebrate our passion for poetry on Sunday, April 17 in the Rector’s Forum.

10. Roast the Rector! Join me for an April 22 evening of hilarity as thespians, comedians, and singers take advantage of my final week to hoist me on my own petard as we celebrate together our last twenty-one years.

11. Faith, Film & Jesus: My final guest for the Rector’s Forum and the afternoon of April 24 will be JESUS! I am honored to that filmmaker Rodrigo Garcia will join me to explore his new movie, Last Days In the Desert about Jesus’s temptations in the wilderness. The award-winning story-teller will be in conversation with me in the Forum on Sunday about Jesus, how the deepest struggles of his life inspire reflective persons today. And then in the afternoon after a screening of the film, Garcia (who wrote and directed it) will join LA Times film critic Kenneth Turan, producer Julie Lynn, and me about the power of narrative and the cinema – a quintessentially Los Angeles thing to do before I leave.

12. Come Celebrate May 1st: Finally, join us in the street on Sunday, May 1st at 10:00 a.m. for a festival Eucharist and my last sermon as your rector. It will be a thrilling celebration of our ministry together.

You can find more information on any of these extraordinary events at the links above, on our website or by calling 626.796.1172. Whoever you are and wherever you find yourself there is something here for you. Join us!!