Click right here next Sunday at 10 to join your ASC friends online.

Following our Soul Matters theme of “Thresholds”, members of our congregation will be reading their poetry and collected verse. In addition, solos will be by Eva Greene, Catie Berg, Peter Gibbons, and Tom Baehr. Please join this lay led service as we  Open Our Own Gates in Worship. Service Leaders: Maisie Crowther and Christina Gibbons.

All Souls Church Worship Service
Sunday, May 17, 2020


Click right here on Sunday at 10 to join your ASC friends online.

Join the service about 10 a.m. or a little earlier at the link above.

Join with us as we commemorate our planet and our passion to do it justice.
If you do not have internet connection at that time,  you can join by phone:Dial one of these numbers:

312 626 6799

929 205 6099

Meeting ID: 670 556 039

Password: 741852

Order of Service

Sunday, May 17, 2020


Opening Our Gate with Music and Poetry 

Board Greeting and Announcements  

Prelude:  Bondens Sang       Edvard Grieg

Chalice Lighting

“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.” Kahil Gibran (AZQuotes)

Opening Words #685  

I.  What we call a beginning is often the end

and to make an end is to make a beginning.

The end is where we start from.

II.  We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
― T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets*

Hymn:  Wake Now My Senses       Sung by Catie G. Berg

Introduction: “Door Bells” — Visits from John Donne and Emily Dickinson

Story for All Ages:  “The Paper Crane”    By Molly Bang

Special Music:   Suite I Minuets    J. S. Bach         Played by Peter Gibbons

Poems or Reflections Part I:

Catie G. Berg:  Threshold

“Where is the line I cross—

that threshold changing everything,

after groping midnight walls—upsetting picture frames—and turning,

find the light switch to my kitchen?

Where is the line I cross—

that threshold changing everything,

while navigating rapids of impatience

‘til the rocks give way to sand and calmer passage?

Where is the line I cross—

that threshold changing everything,

from going here and there with crowds of friends,

instead, to isolation that preserves my fragile self, amidst pandemic’s spread?

Where is the line I cross—

the threshold changing everything,

from my accustomed pinnacle of privilege,

to the slap-upside-the-head that shouts how everything’s connected here, for good or


Where is the line I cross—

that threshold changing everything,

as roiling uncertainty joins loss and fright in opening toward grace,

propelling me beyond horizons on the sails of courage, faith and mystery?”

—May, 2020 ©

Christina Gibbons:  Flamingo 

“Wow, she said,
Wow.  Too orange
To be real.
Bright feathers sheathe
A large body
Balanced on one leg
With a knobby knee
And splayed toes.
A strong curved bill
Tucked under a wing.

Flamingo at rest,
Bird in a dream.
How would it feel
To be a flamingo?
I wake hungry,
Unfold my other leg,
Stretch my long neck
Down to the water,
Rake the bottom,
And find what I need.

Let me be your spirit –
Easy, replete.
I have enough of everything.
Enough warmth, enough food,
Enough rest, enough love.”

Christina Gibbons

Poems or Reflections Part II:

Maisie Crowther: Cosmic Consciousness

“Gathering Dust from a Gravitational Wave 

The strongest pull is from a silent sphere.

We come to feel its importance here.

Though life is chaotic, we stumble and grip

The tiniest truth that seems to rip

Through daily tasks that consume our hours.

Might as well go pick some flowers.

We’ve reclassified the minerals, hoping

That the universe in which we’re groping

Will yield its facts — the truth it’s hiding,

And bring us, with our souls confiding

An understanding we can accept at last.

“Bring us there,” we say, “and fast!”


Yes, we’ve got a future; this we can surmise,

Beyond the cookies, pastries and pies.

With Einstein’s Energy and Hubble’s lenses,

Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven cadenzas, 

We’ll brush away our trepidation.

The cosmos awaits our conversation.” 

Maisie Crowther

February 1, 2020

Charles Butterfield: The Loop

“Jogging the gravel loop

cut through the meadow

I’m thinking of the Chengdu man

walking his masked twins

to an abandoned subway station

where the girls can run

on the empty escalators and hear

an endlessly echoing 

public service warning 

to watch their step.

I do mine, though the loop is level

and its puddles are drying.

Still, one is cautious

on the turns, as elsewhere —

in vacant corridors,

at the shuttered pub

at Hannafords

One hears the looped warning

in a pandemic. I jog

aware of my hands 

my exhalations

the others on the loop — 

brisk steppers,

the chatterers six feet apart,

bird watchers, sky watchers

moving and not moving.

I make the turns

with the father and sisters 

their masks holstered (mask under the chin) at times

or low-ridered (nose exposed)

or flapjacked (mask off one ear)

their touch of revolt against lockdown

and the endless recorded warning.

If they were far off, China say,

I’d breathe easier, as I used to

but the trio is as close

as the ambling couple

I pull my mask up to jog around

as if I were heading

for a safe place.”

Charles Butterfield

Offering: Shared with Groundworks Collaborative

 Offertory:      “Lady Luck”         By  Tom Baehr

Poems or Reflections Part III:

Ames Fuller: Two Poems

Morning Song             Read by Maisie

Into the dangerous morning

He places his wandering foot.

Over the rug at the top of the stairs, 

Down past the lamp that was left unlit,

He moves among the shadowy crowd,

The gang, of furniture, and wing-chairs feet.

At the end of it all, a refrigerator,

Its blank tower, where he beholds

Great nieces and nephews, looking up.

Their faces, unlined, are dazzling.

   Two Views                   Read by Christina

“Two views diverged at the kitchen sink

(Kitchen sink window, window sink)

Dark hills, gray trees, great clouds, weighted,

but streaked with pink;

Inside, on the counter, a pumpkin pie,

aroma of coffee in its mug;

On the magazine’s page, a flawless woman, in pastels, 

Smiling approval of arthritis pills.


He loves his grandchildren, self-absorbed;

His adult children, over-booked.

These days, he learns what his grandparents did,

His parents, his teachers, his tolerant friends.

He knows his family has always smiled – and will again.

And warmed, he stands by stainless steel,

Perhaps with a weighted winter sky,

Or next to the brilliant stainless steel.”


Beverly Miller: Merciful Beauty

“The shape of merciful beauty is there in the slow, soft glow of the sun ascending the horizon,

In the beckoning arms of the magnificent oak,

In the deep, dark tones of the cello,

In the eruption of the infant’s delighted laughter.

It flows from the voice of the waterfall surging through the stillness of dawn.

It surfaces in the breathtaking dreams of touching my child’s face once again.

Grant me merciful beauty, that I am not blinded by my grief,

That I may know more than my sorrow,

That I may open to the possibilities beyond death,

That I may extend my being in connection with what is life giving,

That I may find the threshold to faith in something more than myself,

That I may not fear loving again.”

Beverly Miller
September 27, 2019

Hymn:  Guide My Feet  sung by Bob Wyckoff    

Closing Words & Extinguishing the Chalice

“Use this day to do something daring, extraordinary and unlike yourself. Take a chance and shape a different pattern in your personal cloud of probability.”

From  Vera Nazarian “The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration.”

Closing Song: “Carry the flame of peace and love until we meet again” (sung two times)