Category Archives: Fellowship

Sunday Morning Kids Programming and New Church Staff!

I am so grateful to announce two new additions to our ASC staff team! Rev. Julie Cate Kelly is now our Ministry Coordinator. Julie will be working to organize and support our numerous lay ministry teams and preaching occasionally. She has a rich history of life and ministry experience. Dre (Andrea) Acosta is now our Director of Children’s Ministry! Dre has 10 years of children and youth ministry experience in the Church of England and is passionate and enthusiastic about connecting kids to Jesus! Please continue reading to find their bio’s and see pictures!

THIS SUNDAY! 

This Sunday we will worship at 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., and kick off our Spiritual Formation classes at 10:15 between the services!

Children’s Program Information (Starting this Sunday!) 

– We provide nursery care for infants and toddlers at both services.

– Children’s Church for preschoolers only during the 9 a.m. service.

– Children’s Church for preschool through fifth grade during the 11:15 a.m. service.

– Nursery and children’s Sunday school classes are also provided during Spiritual Formation hour. It is at this time when we will offer our traditional Children’s Sunday School

Adult Spiritual Formation Classes 10:15-11 a.m. 

Bible Study: 1 Peter Hopeful Witness in a Post-Christian Age
How do we bear witness to “the hope that we share” (1 peter 3:15) among neighbors whose assumptions, imagination, and frame of reference are largely ‘post-Christian’? This focal question will guide our 10-week study of 1 Peter as we seek to allow an ancient pastoral letter to shape our imaginations, affections, and practices as a church. Taught by Dr. Ross Wagner.

Welcoming The Stranger: Discovering God’s Heart for Immigrants
Immigration issues can be complicated, controversial and emotional. We often get so caught up in personal experience and political arguments that it is difficult to understand what the Bible teaches. Come investigate what the Bible has to say about the strangers in our midst. This six week class is taught by Paul Watkins.

 

New Staff Bios! 

Rev Julie Cate Kelly 

Ministry Coordinator 

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I was born in a small village in the midst of the Iranian revolution to missionary parents, and spent much of my early life exploring the rich culture and sweet-smelling spice bazaars of the Middle East.  I transitioned (quite awkwardly) from the bustling streets of Cairo, Egypt to the sleepy, Amish countryside of Pennsylvania when I was 10 years old, and lived there until I went to Wheaton College (IL) to study Interpersonal and Organizational Communications.

Desiring the excitement of a big city, I ventured to Washington, DC upon graduation, and spent three years working on Capitol Hill as the Scheduler for a U.S. Senator. (I like to pretend it was my very own West Wing experience.) Upon my boss’s retirement from the Senate, I changed fields (entirely!) and began working as the Community Coordinator for Kairos, a vibrant young adult community at The Falls Church (Anglican),  just outside of DC.  I planned retreats and community gatherings, coordinated our weekly worship service for 300-400 young adults, organized small groups, recruited, trained and managed volunteer ministry leaders, and even tried out my very first (embarrassing) sermons on them. It was during my time at TFC that I sensed God’s call to pursue further theological training for a lifetime of ministry. I studied for my M.Div at Duke Divinity School in Durham, and especially enjoyed my ministry placements in a male juvenile detention center, a small Episcopal parish, and as a chaplain on the neuro-oncology floor at Duke University Hospital.  I was ordained by the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) as a Vocational Deacon on All Saints Day of 2008.  I love the creative job opportunities and hands-on aspect of the diaconate, which allow me to minister to people both in and outside the walls of the church. I enjoy creating thoughtful spaces and fostering community where pastoral care and spiritual growth can occurr, where individuals–young and old alike–can embrace God’s goodness, mercy and profound love for them.  I was drawn to the Anglican church while in college, because it offers beautiful liturgical order to worship, rich symbolism, and holy mystery to my then rather narrow faith.

I met my husband Patrick at a presidential inaugural ball (how DC is that!?), and we married and moved to Durham, while I was in seminary. We began attending All Saints the day after we returned from our honeymoon in August of 2007. We developed wonderful, rich friendships in our various 242 groups, and loved having ASC as our church home. Our daughter, Cecilia, was born in October of 2009, and baptized at ASC just before her 1st birthday.  Quite unexpectedly, in 2010, we were both offered jobs in Charlotte, and although we grieved the loss of our All Saints community and our plans to stay in the area, we felt as though God was calling us elsewhere, even if for only a season. Patrick was a management consultant, working primarily with federal agencies to streamline their systems and help with their decision-making capabilities. I worked there as the Pastor of Family Ministries at St. Paul’s Anglican Church. A year later, Patrick received an amazing job offer at a consulting firm in DC, so we packed up (yet again!) and returned to the endless beltway traffic and steep cost of living that Washington offers. Five months into our time there, Patrick was diagnosed with brain cancer. He was treated at NIH, but despite all of their best efforts and our hopeful prayers, his neurological decline and pesky cancer cells would not let him live past the young age of 34. He died in January of 2012, leaving me as his widow and the single-mom to our precocious 2 year old little girl, who couldn’t fathom why her daddy would never return home, (or why her mommy was constantly sad!).  In June of 2012, Ceci and I moved back to Durham, because the thought of being a single-mom in DC seemed practically impossible. We have loved being back here, and have credited our community and worship at All Saints as a major part of our healing process. She’s almost 5 now, and promises to be taller than me in a very short amount of time. She loves being “craftable”, and making friends with any furry creature she meets! (According to her, she’s lucky to have 3 “siblings” — two very fat cats and a sweet, but overly-friendly dog.)

I am excited to be back in ministry in a more formal way, and feel hopeful for the future of All Saints. I love bringing order to chaos, and establishing systems and mechanisms that can enable our life together to occur more easily, while equipping lay leaders to serve our church and community in fruitful, productive ways.  I hope I can help All Saints journey through this season of growth and change, and help to make it a welcoming, accessible, and healthy place for new and old members alike.

When I’m not singing show tunes to my daughter at bedtime, or keeping my animal kingdom fed and loved, I love watching tennis, enjoying a glass of oaky red wine, traveling with Cecilia, reading historical novels, making Middle Eastern food, and creating my own jewelry.

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Dre (Andrea) Acosta 

Director of Children’s Ministry 

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I was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, and have loved working with children and youth since I was a pre-teen! An excellent youth group allowed for missions opportunities throughout high school, both locally and abroad in Australia and England. After graduating high school, I interned with a local missions organization, specializing in discipleship and international mission, before becoming staff and expanding my role. Just after my 20th birthday, I moved to the south west of England to pursue youth & children’s ministry training, while working for two local Anglican churches. Three fantastic years later, I moved on to Coventry, England, to become Youth & Children’s Minister of Holy Trinity Church. After developing healthy rhythms of ministry in the church and local community, it was time to return Stateside, with a four month stint in Nairobi, Kenya on the way. My immediate family had trickled down South from Buffalo over the years, so I came to Raleigh, where I met my awesome husband, Jorge.

Jorge is a Miami-raised Cuban-American. He graduated cum laude in the honors program at Florida International University with a B.A. degree in History and Asian Studies and a minor in Religious Studies. After teaching high school history and criminal justice for three years in Florida, Jorge was drawn to North Carolina to pursue graduate studies in Christian apologetics and focus on his deep love for computers, technology and all things digital. He currently works for a local branding agency as a digital engagement specialist. We were married on October 5th, 2013!

I have just begun my studies to complete a degree in Developmental and Child Psychology, with a view of developing quality care standards for vulnerable children, foster children, and those recently adopted. I’m currently serving as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the Wake County Court System, monitoring and advocating for foster children in their custody cases. I’m consistently studying Spanish in hopes my fluency will someday overtake Jorge’s!

Jorge and I both love animals and have one four legged, curly haired fur-child at home. We love to dance salsa, cook Cuban feasts, and are both voracious readers.

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Filed under Children, Community, Discipleship, Fellowship, In the News, Local Missions, theology

Spiritual Formation Classes Begin September 7th

 

 

 

 

We have two Spiritual Formation classes beginning this Fall on Sunday, September 7th. Classes will be held on Sunday mornings from 10:15-11 a.m. at Five Oaks SDA Church. Please see the information below and plan to participate!

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ASC WELCOMING THE STRANGER PROMO 2014

 

 

 

If you have questions please contact the church office.

Spiritual Formation classes will also be held for children preschool through 5th grade.

Nursery will be provided during this time as well. 

 

 

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New Service Times and Spiritual Formation Classes

We will be worshipping together on Sunday mornings in one service at 10am for the next two weeks (August 24 and 31). On Sunday, September 7th we will begin offering two services of Holy Eucharist on Sunday mornings: 9:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Spiritual Formation classes will begin on September 7th as well. These classes will meet between the services from 10:15-11:00 a.m. Spiritual Formation classes for children will be offered at this time as well and nursery is provided.

This Fall we are pleased to offer two course for adults: A Bible Study on 1 Peter, and a class on God’s heart for immigrants in our midst. Please plan on participating in one of these offerings. Look below for more details.

1 peter bible study fall 2014


ASC WELCOMING THE STRANGER PROMO 2014

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All Saints Church Reads: Reflection by Paul Watkins

Last week we had our first (of many I pray) meetings of the All Saints Church Reads book club.

torranceThere were two meetings: one in the morning at 7 am at the Upper Room and one in the evening at 7 pm at my house. Over 15 people met and discussed the first two chapters of James Torrance’s book Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace.

It is a short book that profoundly explores the depth and grace of the gospel of God! It is a book that leads me to worship and marvel at the grace of God!

The book club will meet again on July 24th (at 7am and 7pm) to discuss the last two chapters of the book. All are welcome!

Paul Watkins attended and wrote this poignant reflection:

“The worship and mission of the church are the gift of participating through the Holy Spirit in the incarnate Son’s communion with the Father and the Son’s mission from the Father to the world.” (p. 9)

This sentence embodies the main thesis of Torrance’s book: that we live Christianly by entering into participation with what is already happening within the life of the Trinity.

Acceptable worship is already ascending to God – from our great High Priest in the heavens who ever lifts up holy hands to His Father in praise and thanksgiving; when we worship rightly, we do so only by entering into and taking part in the Son’s worship already taking place.

Likewise, acceptable mission is already happening – climactically in the Father’s sending forth the Son into the world to call all men to Himself, but also in the Son’s sending forth of the Spirit He received from the Father into the world to carry on the same mission; when we do mission rightly, we only do so by entering into and taking part in the Son’s and Spirit’s mission already taking place.

Which is to say, living Christianly does not mean offering worship and mission of our own to God, but in participating in what the Father has already provided for Himself through His Son and Spirit. This is the meaning of “grace.” It is not so much that God gives grace for us, extra nos, and we respond in faith and service for God, extra Deum, as two actions by two different actors playing their parts in turns; rather, our faith and service are nothing other than the faith and service of the Son through the Spirit operative in us, which is one and the same thing as grace itself, as one action by two different actors playing their respective parts in simultaneous, intimate co-action.

So our work (of worship and mission) and God’s grace are not two different things, traded between us; they are one and the same thing, seen from two perspectives. This is why we can never imagine our service to God apart from His grace (Pelagianism), nor imagine His grace apart from our service (radical Protestantism).

So remember, when we worship it is the Son through the Spirit that is worshiping through us. And when we go forth in mission to the world, it is also the Son through the Spirit that is going forth in mission through us.

All that we do, if we do it Christianly, is nothing other than what God Himself is doing while using us as His vessels. It is “not I, but the grace of God which is with me.” Which is to say, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” So let us be cooperators with the Spirit, and co-workers with the Son, joining them in their worship and mission as we are drawn ever more intimately into the life of the Triune God.

– Reflection by Paul Watkins

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Filed under All Saints Church Reads, Anglicanism, Books, Community, Discipleship, Fellowship, The Holy Spirit, theology, Worship

It all started with a cup of coffee…(VBS!)

Meet Caroline Efird, the director of Children’s Ministries at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Durham:

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(She doesn’t usually look quite so—what’s the word? festive!—but I think you’ll agree that she makes those glasses look pretty good.)

It was over a cup of coffee this spring that Caroline and I somewhat accidentally hit upon the idea of All Saints jumping in and joining Good Shepherd for their Vacation Bible School this summer. And I couldn’t be more thankful for that “accidental” conversation!

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This past week, about twenty children and four volunteers from All Saints joined 250 children and over 100 volunteers for a week of fun and learning about the life of David, what it means that he was a man after God’s own heart, and what it means for us to emulate that heart in our own lives. Through drama and puppets and games and crafts and even meticulously themed snacks, the children experienced stories from David’s life in new and exciting ways.

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Even the children who knew the story of David and Goliath inside out were freshly impressed by the giant (on stilts!) whose strobe-lit slaying at the hands of the boy David was made real in a new way for them through the impressive dramatic skills of the folks at CGS. Thanks to the creativity of ASC’s own Nicki Carpenter and with the assistance of four faithful youth volunteers, including Luke Jackson, sweaty games of tag and water balloons and ultimate frisbee took on new meaning with pool noodles as swords and shepherds and sheep as players.

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Marnie Densmore, another ASC volunteer, became a master slingshot maker over the course of the week, and in the meantime had conversations with and built relationships with lots of children and adults who made their way to her tent in the marketplace. Sarah McSwain and I both had the enviable role of leading groups through the whole week, comprising children from ASC, CGS, and other local churches. The questions we had the opportunity to answer, the prayers we got to pray with them, and the fun we had together with our groups are memories that will certainly stick with the children (and us!) for a very long time.

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Over the course of the week, the children memorized Bible verses daily. One verse that showed up on the list and also during our worship time several mornings is from 1 Samuel 16:7:

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(Here’s ASC’s own David Carpenter, bravely reciting a memory verse for the entire group of children and volunteers during our opening worship time! Go, David!)

What a beautiful promise to each of the children who participated in VBS this week, that what the Lord wants for them is a clean heart, longing most of all for what He wants, seeking most of all after the things of His kingdom; and what a sweet gift it was to me, as an adult walking through the week with these children, to be reminded by their simple but profound questions how the faith of a child can serve as a model for all of us. Ask, seek, knock: that’s what children do instinctively and without reservation, and in doing so, seek after the heart of God, sometimes without even knowing it.

Thank you, Caroline and your fantastic team of coordinators and volunteers, for inviting us to join you at VBS this year! What a gift it was to serve and pray and work and play alongside you–we already can’t wait until next year!

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{Here’s a fun one-minute summary of our time at VBS as told by one of the children’s favorite “volunteers”: a puppet!}

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/99772793″>IMG 5500</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user11516640″>All Saints Church</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

{Beautiful professional photographs courtesy of Julie Yoo at Vibrance Photography: http://vibrance-photography.com/. Cell phone photographs courtesy of parents and volunteers!}

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Called to Brokenness

by Daniele Berman

I am a single mom of young children in a church full of intact families. I am a female children’s minister on a staff full of men. I am a transplanted Yankee in a church in Durham, North Carolina. And I am a well loved sister, who, along with her children, has been embraced by the church family that she serves in ways that are almost impossible to describe.

Several years ago, I was talking to my then-rector and then-boss (and now Bishop) Steve Breedlove, right in the midst of some significant crises in my family’s life. I remember telling him that I had so often heard people talking about how they believe in God but can’t stand His Church, an institution such as it is full of hypocrites and judgment and brokenness and liars and you-fill-in-the-blanks people. As I told Steve then, my experience was precisely the opposite: if I ever had reason to doubt the goodness of God, His Church was proof that it is indeed real. Because there was no other possible explanation for my experience of His people; it could be nothing other than the manifestation of His goodness that had turned our little congregation into my very big family.

nrxKOx2Because what other than God could make an institution full of hypocrites and broken people rally around a hurting family like mine? How is it that even as I work in and serve a church roughly one-quarter of whose congregation is age ten or younger, that same church full of families and their children served my family so carefully and well in a difficult season? This is the Body of Christ at work. This is what we are called to be as we worship together on Sunday and as we study together on Wednesday–and also as we work in our separate spheres on Tuesday or rest with our families on Saturday. A familiar passage in 1 Corinthians 12 tells us that the body does not consist of one member but many, that though there are many parts–hands, feet, ears, and eyes–there is only one body. “The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable […] God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together” (1 Cor 12:22b, 24b-26).

The broken, hypocritical people who call themselves God’s are those who declare the paralyzed hand indispensable, the blind eye essential, the deaf ear vital. My prayer for each of us and our churches, then, is that we would find the freedom to trust our church families with the truth of our paralyses and handicaps, that in those we would find honor and shared suffering, and that in our seasons of strength and health we would seek out those in our congregation whose turn it is to be honored in weakness. Similarly, let’s treasure opportunities to rejoice together with our brothers and sisters who rejoice, even in seasons in our own lives when rejoicing seems far and foreign. “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it,” Paul tells us in verse 27. Even as my family at All Saints Church has risen to occasions both to suffer with me in my suffering and to rejoice with me in my celebrations, I pray that each of us would see the standard set for us alongside the treasures offered to us in our membership in Christ’s body–and praise God for the precious gifts of both of those things!

Daniele Berman


Image 5Sometime in the middle of the amazing adventure of being a full-time single mom, Daniele Berman was given the gift of a job that combines all of her passions—her faith, children, and writing—all in one place, as she works as the children's minister and communications coordinator at All Saints Anglican Church in Durham, NC. In all of these things, and as a former writing teacher, she is a firm believer in the never-final draft, grateful that she and all she does are always works in progress. "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6).

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Oak Creek Village Fire Relief Effort

This past Sunday’s Oak Creek Fire Relief Event was a tremendous beginning! I was overwhelmed by the way the church organized and came together in three short days to gather clothes, household items, furniture, food, and financial donations to help the households affected by the fire at Oak Creek Village.oak creek fire relief

Seven area churches came together to make Sunday a success. And we will need to continue working together if we are going to continue loving and following up with the displaced households. All Saints was joined by the efforts of The Gathering Church, Church of the Good Shepherd, Chapel Hill Bible Church, Cresset Baptist, Hope Valley Baptist, La Cosecha, and Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Over fifty volunteers from All Saints alone were on hand to receive, organize, and distribute donated items from noon to six this past Sunday. Our volunteers were amazing. Thank you for everyone who contributed so much time and energy!

The folks who were displaced by the fire came at  4 o’clock and took truckloads furniture and donated items back to their new apartments to begin putting their lives back together. However, they took back more than just physical possessions – they left knowing that they are loved and cared for by the body of Christ. It was deeply meaningful to interact with and the displaced families in the midst of their loss. In the last four days we have also collected over $20,000 in financial donations for displaced families!

thomas on TVThe evening news even showed up and did a little story on the event. CLICK HERE to check out the story! I have also placed a bunch of pictures at the bottom of this post.

The success of Sunday should not distract us from faithfully following up with the displaced families in the mid to long term.

Now it is time for phase two of our response! 

Phase two involves setting up relief partners with each household affected by the fire. These partners will covenant to walk with the displaced households for at least the next three weeks in order to pray with them personally in their homes, see what they still need, assess financial need, and help them to access available services.

All the residents have moved, but some in are greater need than others. We have many folks in the community who are making furniture available, but we need to know what each household still needs and we also need to work out the logistics to get the available furniture to them. These relief partners will take responsibility for one family and coordinate care and help! Many of the households are only Spanish speaking, but not all.

Would you be willing to be a relief partner? 

Would your small group take on this important role for the next three weeks? 

Do you know someone who would be good at this and who have the time to do this? 

The initial contact can be a phone call and I will email you all the contact information you need. 

This commitment needs quick response. 

If you can do this, we need to connect you with your household within the next day or so and you need to make contact by Thursday. Please forward this email on to any in your congregation that would be able to step into this important relationship.

These partners will help us determine how to distribute the money   we raised to the victims. It is also my prayer that these partners will have an opportunity to pray for and share their faith in Jesus with those they are walking with in the midst of this tragedy.

Please respond by emailing THOMAS KORTUS  (thomas@allsaints-chd.org). Also -please get in contact with anyone who you think would have the gifts and time to be a relief partner! 

Any ideas or input? Please let me know! 

thomas kortus

919.619.5007

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Filed under Community, Eagles' Nest, Evangelism, Fellowship, In the News, Local Missions, Oak Creek Village Partnership, Services and Special Events, Social Justice, Uncategorized, World Relief