Welcome to Our Home

We are blessed and honored that you have stopped by to greet us here in our home “on the Web,” and hope you can stay awhile. My name is Father Joe Scheeler and I am the Vicar (Episcopalian language for clergy leader) here at All Saints, Vancouver. Since you are here, I suspect you are a member of All Saints looking for “what’s happening!” Or an Episcopalian new to the area looking for a new church home. But, possibly you are one of the many “spiritually curious” that search for…something deeper…something more connecting…something even spiritually transformative to jump start or accelerate your own “Spirit Journey.” I respectfully ask you to read on and see if perhaps we might be worth a second look.

“Father Joe, what is it like at All Saints?” Well, there are a lot of ways to answer that question. I love food, as you will readily see when we meet, and I like to use a sort of restaurant analogy. We are hungry and we need to be fed. We have so many choices: fast food, to simply fuel up and keep going; a buffet, with something for everybody; or something just a little different, something more intimate, personal perhaps our favorite neighborhood café. The owner greets us warmly, welcoming us. If we are old friends, asks about our family and checks in to see how we are. As we are seated we recognize and greet our friends and neighbors. If it is our first time, the staff take particular care that we are comfortable and feel at ease.

The service is excellent and the menu is full of our favorites, but there is always an interesting “special” to keep us intrigued and challenged for change. At the tables are a wonderful and diverse mix of people; different races; different cultures; genders; languages; relational orientations; elders; children; busy working families and retirees all joined together around the commonality of the “need to be fed.” And in that joyful blending of customers, the differences create a diverse, flavorful and sometimes spicy “Soup of the Day.” And then we understand the commonality of Spirit held together by the need to be fed and the food that feeds us.

And so All Saints is like that, fulfilling our spiritual appetite and hunger for connection. Connection to our Creator, to Jesus, to the Sacred Spirit and also to each other…to connect to something more than just ourselves. You will find us joyfully contemplative, deeply spiritual, kind and welcoming; gloriously diverse; smart; funny; incessantly questioning; sometimes respectfully heretical; always looking answers that work and sometimes even finding them. Yet always we are accepting and respectful of your personal Spirit Journey.

We are here to Gather, Transform and Send. We are Gathered, the Creator sends “those who need us, and those whom we need.” We are Transformed to be the Creator’s voice, breath, hands and feet in the World. And we are Sent into family life, work life, school life, volunteering and retirement to be an example and live the learning of the Spirit Journey. As we have been fed, we are sent to feed.

Blessings and hoping to see you soon,
Father Joe

Vicar’s Address to the Annual Meeting

“Why All Saints Matters”

January 28, 2024

Greetings Saints. It is excellent to be with you this morning to share some observations on the “state of our congregation”. I first joined you as your Vicar on January 15, 2015. Now entering my 9th amazing year with you. I am blessed and grateful to be with you all. It is hard to describe this sacred place we call All Saints. This community must truly be experienced to fully understand the spiritual breadth and depth of it. But I will do my best to describe this place that has nurtured me, helped me grow; helped me understand more and better what it means to walk the Jesus Way. Who are we as a congregation, Saints?  Why does All Saints matter? Let’s have a look.

We are a” right- sized” Congregation. What do I mean by “right sized” congregation? All Saints is small enough to be a true community and large enough to make a true impact on our world. At All Saints we know each other, we are relatives. You will never be lost in the crowd at All Saints. From your first visit onward, you are visible, welcomed, integral, important, recognized and respected.   In Episcopal-speak we are a “mission sized” congregation. Our “in-person” attendance traditionally hovers between 45-60 each Sunday while our virtual attendance takes our ASA (average Sunday attendance) to 145 persons/families each week. But don’t let the numbers define us. Who are we really?

 We are a relentless community of faith. We are committed to be here, not just surviving but thriving. We are an Episcopal congregation that has never forgotten the message of the “primitive”, 1st Century, Jesus Way Movement. We are a spiritual hybrid, a mixed theological “mutt” if you will. We take the classic understandings of our Episcopal heritage and season them with a delicious blend of First Nations traditions, contemporary Christian thought, coupled with ancient relevance. We Love Fearlessly. We put good back into the world. We follow the Jesus Way. We Gather, Transform and Send. That’s what we do. That’s who we are.

We are opening and welcoming to all. We are a place where all spiritual seekers can find a safe, warm, yet challenging spiritual landing spot. We are inclusive and “Jesus Centered”. We are equally inwardly and outwardly directed. Equally contemplative and socially engaging. As a community of faith, we are inquisitive and introspective, questioning and challenging. Our worship style is a hybrid, swinging on a pendulum between very traditional and very contemporary. Vibrant and engaging liturgies invite us to experience Sacred Space. Stunning liturgical environments wrap us as we journey together spiritually. We pray the Nicene Creed and The All Saints Creed with equal respect and enthusiasm. Our music is stunningly vibrant as we reach across musical genres to praise God, to worship and enliven our hearts. We welcome any spiritual seeker to worship with us, no matter where they are on their own personal spiritual journey. We live “Canku Ota” …the First Nation’s Many Paths Tradition. Respect each and every person’s individual spiritual journey while welcoming them to experience ours.

We reach into the world, our community and make a difference every day with the sacred work we do there. Our outreach programs are our testimony to doing Jesus’ work in the world. Babies in Need, The Diaper Bank, our Lincoln School partnership, our food outreach programs, Traveling Day Society, our Peace and Justice Team…all show the world who we are as we follow Jesus’ words: “Do not be afraid”, and “love one another as I have loved you.”  Great leadership is demonstrated, it is never announced. We demonstrate how to live the Jesus Way daily.

And how do we do all this Saints? You do it! Your volunteering, your financial support, your engagement, your gifts of time, talent and treasure are your commitment to our spiritual family. It is you that keep us alive and thriving. Are we challenged? Absolutely. Are we sometimes stretched to our spiritual, financial and emotional limits? Yes…. but we always find a way to thrive as family. For that is who and what we are.

Who is All Saints? Why does All Saints matter? We are a committed, welcoming and loving community of faith. Following the Jesus Way, we engage each other and our community with great joy, loving grace and deep respect. We are so glad you are here. Welcome Home.

All Blessings, Peace and Grace,

Father Joe Scheeler