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All Saints Postpones Celebration of Life Service for George Regas

Published on Tuesday, December 28, 2021 | 11:45 am
Rev. Dr. George F. Regas. Photo courtesy All Saints Church

The celebration of life service for former All Saints Church Rector George Regas scheduled to be held in early January has been postponed due to the current pandemic surge.

Regas died at age 90 on January 3, 2021. Plans were made at that time to offer a celebration of life service in Regas’s memory after pandemic restrictions were lifted, and the service was ultimately scheduled for January 8, 2022. It has now been delayed.

Regas led the church for 27 years from 1968 to 1995. During that time he advanced civil rights, women’s ordination, the anti-Apartheid movement in the U.S., sanctuary for refugees, LGBTQ marriage equality and reversing the arms race from the pulpit.

“The celebration of the life of our late rector emeritus the Rev. Dr. George F. Regas, originally scheduled for January 8, has been postponed at the request of the Regas family until after Easter because of the Omicron COVID surge,” a statement on the church’s website reads.

A forum celebrating George Regas, scheduled for Sunday, January 9, has also been postponed.

Regas was ordained a Deacon in the Episcopal Church in 1956 and to the Priesthood in 1957. He succeeded John Burt as rector when he was just 36.

During his time as rector, Regas encouraged and helped cultivate the formation of a number of organizations which over the years grew into influential local nonprofits, including Union Station.

The church started the total service center for homeless citizens of the San Gabriel Valley. With an annual budget of over $2 million, the facility sleeps 80 people and remains committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness. Union Station works closely with clients with substance abuse to steer them to the appropriate healing instruments.

During his 28 years at All Saints, Regas focused on peace and justice, while also forging a strong community of faith from a diverse population.

Regas worked with friend and Archbishop Desmond Tutu to establish a South Africa ministry at All Saints Church. Tutu died on Dec. 26.

In 1986, Regis established the All Saints AIDS Service Center. It eventually became a major AIDS program in the San Gabriel Valley.

He also supervised the creation of Young & Healthy in 1984 a pioneering program to serve uninsured and underinsured children in Pasadena. This effort has been extremely successful and has been copied in several other cities.

After brutal Halloween murders in 1993 that left four teenagers dead and forced the city to acknowledge its gang problems, Regas founded the Coalition for a Non-Violent City with former PCC President and state Senator Jack Scott.

The diverse and activist coalition has over 2,000 members and is focused on developing educational, community and public policy solutions to the violence that is putting our community’s children at enormous risk. The Coalition attempts to mobilize the community to address both gun violence and the systemic causes of violence.

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