by Jason Lyon
What an exciting time to be a member of All Saints Church! As we bid a fond and bittersweet farewell to our beloved Rector of 21 years, Ed Bacon, the Rector Search Committee continues its prayerful, diligent discernment with the final candidates for the call to be our next Rector. On behalf of the vestry and search committee, I invite your prayers for this important and holy work as we wait together for the decision and announcement we hope will come very soon.
In preparing to welcome our new Rector, the All Saints Vestry and its ministries have been taking stock of our work, making sure that our mission of ‘making God’s love tangible 24/7’ is being effectively communicated and that our work is best directed to bring that mission to life. At its April meeting, the Vestry adopted a resolution on Racial Justice. The resolution, authored by All Saints’ COLORS ministry and sponsored by the Peace and Justice Committee, renews our pledge to practice radical inclusivity of all racial, ethnic, and cultural groups and affirms our commitment to interrupt racism in all its manifestations. Perhaps most significantly, the Racial Justice Resolution sets forth ten concrete actions we commit to undertake as a community. Among those is the establishment and maintenance of a Racial Justice Advisory Board to guide and monitor our work to make manifest the values underlying the resolution.
At its May and June meetings, the Vestry also will consider a resolution on climate change that calls on us all – as a parish and as individuals – to become carbon-neutral and move to sustainable practices as soon as possible. If adopted, that resolution will join the Racial Justice Resolution and last year’s Economic Justice Resolution to guide and frame our missional work for the next season of our communal life.
Meanwhile, the parish is in good hands. Among the many things I love about the Episcopal Church is that we do governance well. The Church canons and parish bylaws are structured in such a way that no parish ever goes without leadership, and All Saints is no exception. The 24-member Vestry remains our lay leadership, overseeing our work to make All Saints a bright, bold beacon of God’s inexhaustible love. Aided by our Director of Giving, Jim Loduha, and Parish Administrator, Christina Honchell, the Vestry also provides thoughtful stewardship of our resources. As Senior Warden, I will assume the role of Chair of the Vestry until our next Rector is called, and Junior Warden Rick Davis will join me in presiding over our regular meetings.
Our Senior Associate for Pastoral Care, Zelda Kennedy, will serve as our Priest in Charge, leading the clergy and staff in the day to day operations of the church. She will be joined in the pulpit by our amazingly deep bench of gifted preachers: Susan Russell, Jon Dephouse, Sally Howard and our dear friend Gary Hall, who is thankfully back in Pasadena. Antonio Gallardo remains our Pastor for Latino Ministries. And Senior Associate Juliana Serrano will continue to oversee our Peace and Justice work through All Saints’ Office for Creative Connections. We have many exciting offerings coming up in the Forum – keep an eye on “This Week at All Saints” and our social media platforms for the latest news.
Finally, plan now to join us on Sunday, May 8th at 10:15 a.m. when Rick Davis and I will present “All Saints Church: The Next Chapter Begins” in the Forum – an opportunity for all of us to gather and look forward together.
All Saints is a community in motion – a healthy and vibrant movement for social change. When our next Rector is called, he or she will have to hit the ground running to keep up with us. I cannot think of a more beautiful tribute to Ed Bacon’s leadership and or a more wonderful way welcome to the next great Rector of All Saints Church than to be a people in motion – moving forward into God’s future.