Following intensive fundraising in 2011–12, we now track pledges, bring new members into the campaign, re-contact members whose economic situations may have improved, and look beyond our congregation to raise money. As the renovation project progresses, we will form new teams to support the project, including construction oversight, communication, and fundraising teams.
We cook good food and serve it with love, aiming to accommodate diverse diets with menus that appeal to a variety of tastes. As part of our green commitment, we support zero-trash lunches and composting; although there is typically a small charge for lunch, we provide free meals to guests and low-income congregants. We seek individuals or groups to chef, prepare, serve, and clean up. You can sign up for just one Sunday, but many volunteers enjoy it so much they become regulars.
Souls in the Center offers social and service opportunities for All Souls members and friends in their 30s–50s. The calendar of events includes volunteer opportunities such as assisting with the recent “War and Peace” Concert and other events at All Souls, potluck suppers and brunches, hikes and bike rides, museum visits, and joining in events with other area UU churches. For more information, join the “Souls in the Center” Google Group and on Facebook.
The goal of All Souls’ potluck Seder is to emphasize the traditional principles of freedom from oppression. Compared to other Seders, however, ours is broader in intent and inclusiveness, taking on a distinct UU flavor. We draw parallels between the Jewish slaves in Egypt and African slaves in the US and highlight other types of oppression based on sexual orientation, physical disability, or even our own harsh views of ourselves. The Seder service and dinner, free and child-friendly, includes singing and a story for the children by Rev. Hardies. It draws more than 100 people each year.
Before each Sunday service, two greeters set up in the narthex to help oriented visitors and others new to All Souls. After each service, we offer hospitality, chat, answer questions, and generally make newcomers feel welcomed amid the hubbub of congregants. If you’re outgoing and have a bit of spare time, we’d love to have you on our team.
We keep All Souls’ flowers, trees, and plants thriving, blooming, healthy, and beautiful throughout the year. We take care of the Courtyard, South Lawn, Front Lawn, Harvard Street Garden, and trees along 16th and Harvard Streets. We have jobs appropriate for all ages and experience levels, including planting flowers, transplanting perennials, pruning shrubs, pruning trees, mulching, weeding, watering plants, edging, splitting perennials, perennials maintenance, and more. Good exercise, good fellowship, good for everyone who comes to All Souls Church for any reason.
Covenant groups, organized through All Souls’ small-group ministry program, offer opportunities to build community, deepen relationships, and provide a safe place for spiritual exploration. Five to ten people meet once or twice a month in the homes of members, and meetings are led by a facilitator. As the program grows, new groups are always forming. The Covenant Group Steering Committee provides resources based on the church’s monthly spiritual themes and also provides training for new facilitators.
The Caring Network comprises congregants who reach out to others with visits, cards, meals, transportation, and other practical and emotional gifts. Ultimately, the Caring Network is simply an organized extension of the care we all offer one another. Contact us if you are in need of care or would like to help others.
We toll our historic 1822 Revere Foundry “Abolition” Bell, which has served our community for 190 years. We mix the joys and sorrows of the world by pealing the bell for several minutes, pausing for two minutes to wind the weights on our bell tower clock to keep it running, and then tolling the bell in memory of all the deaths in current wars. After training, volunteers are given access to a Google calendar to sign up for open slots.
The All Souls Bed & Breakfast program hosts UUs visiting the nation’s capital. Since the B&B’s inception in 2009, we have placed over 300 guests and raised almost $80,000, making this an important line item in our annual budget. We always need new hosts, especially in DC and close-in suburbs, who live near public transportation. If you have a spare room, consider being a host family. Sign up through the link at www.all-souls.org/b-and-b.