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News from The Parish of the Epiphany

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  • September 13, 2019 4:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Parish of the Epiphany has an opening for a full-time Director of Faith Formation. The ideal candidate will be a passionate Christian formation professional, preferably with teaching experience; the person must be highly organized and able to engage children, teens, parents, and volunteers with creativity and enthusiasm.  Click here to read more about Epiphany and the Director of Faith formation position

  • September 09, 2019 2:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Big news, there are two new events added to this year's fair.

    Our Christmas Fair is scheduled for Saturday, 23 November. We can’t wait! The Fair is an opportunity to welcome parishioners and the wider community into our beautiful church for a visit, a bite of lunch, and wonderful holiday shopping. We need volunteers to make this event happen! Will you help?

    There will be many, many opportunities to participate via an online sign-up for general volunteers, but right now we are looking for leaders. In particular, we are looking for chairpersons for the following:

    Kitchen/Food
    You will organize food prep, set-up, and serving of coffee/lunch. We have many helpers for this section of the Fair so you will have lots of help. Perhaps you would like to volunteer with a friend and co-chair.

    Vendors
    We already confirmed most of our vendors but we need a chairperson to continue the dialogue with vendors and be the point-person for vendor questions before and on the day of the Fair.

    New for 2019: Children’s Hall
    The Upper Parish Hall will be abuzz with activity on Fair day as we welcome the youngest among us to shop for gifts, children's books, and enjoy craft activities all while their parents shop, lunch, and enjoy the day. This is a fun new addition to the Fair and the chairperson(s) will have a big voice in shaping the experience. Start setting aside used children's books now!

    New for 2019: Performances in the Chapel
    We have a chairperson to lead this exciting addition to the Fair but she needs your help to identify performers. Please email us with your suggestions including contact information. In general, our hope is to host three performances lasting roughly 10 minutes at 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 2:00pm to delight attendees and draw more visitors to the Fair. Performers might include local musicians from the music school, our own choir, or others. Let’s get creative!

    Please email the Fair co-chairs, Laura Krotky and Anne Sharp with an enthusiastic “YES, I will help!” today. Or, contact us with questions and thank you for making this annual favorite event a memorable day.

    Our next meeting is moved to Wednesday, September 25th at 7:00pm in the Suter Room.


  • May 16, 2019 10:27 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Episcopal City Mission has nominated Parish of the Epiphany the 2019 Shaw Award for Social and Economic Justice for your communal commitment to social justice.

    The M. Thomas Shaw Award for Social and Economic Justice was established by Episcopal City Mission on the occasion of the retirement of the Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE as the Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Massachusetts as a memorialization of his Episcopacy and passion for justice. The award started in 2014 and is bestowed annually on a parish, mission, or faith community in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts at the ECM Annual Dinner as a celebration of how this particular church gives continuity to the work and vision for social and economic justice imparted by Bishop Shaw in this Diocese during his time as bishop.

    Epiphany's extends its deepest thanks and congratulations to all who support our immigration justice efforts, especially Roz Nazzaro and Pam Chester. Click here is you would like more information on ECM's Annual Celebration and Dinner on 11 June when Epiphany will be recognized.




  • April 24, 2019 4:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For more than three decades, the Parish of the Epiphany has had a relationship with the people of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Boston's South End and for almost 20 years we've partnered with their youth programs. It's a long and strong friendship! St. Stephen's Youth Programs (SSYP) works in low income communities in Boston and Chelsea to provide enriching after school and summer programming for students in grades 1-8, jobs and support for high school students. SSYP also organizes and executes community campaigns to tackle the root causes of poverty. SSYP is committed to safer neighborhoods and reduced gun violence, higher quality and better funded public schools, urban teen employment opportunities and training, and empowering and equipping parents to advocate for their children.

    Here's how you can get involved:

    1. On Sunday, 5 May, come hear the Reverend Liz Steinhauser, Senior Director of Youth Programs at SSYP, preach at Epiphany's 8:00 and 10:00 services. She will lead discussion at the adult formation class. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more and be inspired!

    2. In May and June, we will be collecting new and gently used children's book for the Literacy Program at SSYP. Please consider donating your picture books, early readers, chapter books, non-fiction books or graphic novels that are appropriate for children in kindergarten through 8th grade. There will be bins for the books in the back of the Church and in the entryway to Hadley Hall.

    3. August 5-8 is Epiphany's B-SAFE week! B-SAFE is the name of SSYP's summer program. In order to reduce costs for the program participants, SSYP partners with about 55 Episcopal churches throughout the Diocese. These partners collectively provide lunch everyday to almost 700 kids and staff at six sites for five weeks. Partners host a full day field trip at the end of each week. This year, Epiphany will provide lunch for about 85 kids and staff at the St. Stephen's South End site. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday lunch os from 11:00am-1:00pm. On Thursday, we will host a field trip day from 9:30am to 3:00pm outside of the city. The day will be full of fun activities, water play, food, and friendship. This is a great day for our Epiphany family to turn out to welcome and build relationships with our friends from SSYP. Sign-up here.

    4. There are ongoing volunteer opportunities at SSYP as well- reading buddies, mentors, Blackstone School library volunteers, food preparers, and folks who would like to share a talent, skill, or passion are always appreciated.

    Please be in touch with Betsy Walsh for more information on any of the above and to volunteer.



  • April 18, 2019 1:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As you know, being a member of Epiphany means much more than attending a Sunday Service - there are so many educational events, social events, and service events scattered throughout the week. Each one provides the means to participate in every manner of Christian service.

    One such opportunity is Epiphany Visitors, a group of parishioners who periodically check in on fellow members who are unable to get to church each week. There are about 20 folks who are being visited by one of our Epiphany Visitors. Currently, most of those being visited and most of the visitors are women. We would like to expand the number of men involved, both to be visited and to be visitors.

    Do you know men who might enjoy an occasional visit by a member of the congregation?

    Are you available to be an occasional visitor?

    If so, email Jack Roll to schedule a chat at La Patisserie or Starbucks, or wherever, to see if we may have a fit. Or, if you are interested and do not need a coffee/scone chat, get back to me via email.



  • March 29, 2019 3:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In the fall of 2001, Epiphany’s Associate Rector, Mark Wastler, asked me if I would be an adult volunteer for the Young People’s Fellowship. I had no experience working with teenagers, so I had no idea why he asked me, but it rapidly turned out to be one of the most important invitations I had ever received. I soon counted among my best friends the young people I sat with on Sunday nights in the garret. The openness, the authenticity, the honest sharing of struggles and joys was a weekly blessing. Mark then announced he was going to take the youth to El Hogar in the summer and asked if I would consider helping him escort the team.

    For those who may be new to the Parish, or otherwise may not have heard of this extraordinary place, El Hogar Projects is a school for children of extreme poverty in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Our then Rector, Rob O’Neill, served on its Board of Directors and he and Mark were trying to deepen the relationship between the school and our parish. Indeed, Rob had just hired my wife, Liz, as the new Executive Director in North America. The year before, a team of adults and youth from the Diocese had visited the school, and Mark felt the opportunity to get our youth together with kids of El Hogar was too good to pass up. So, he organized Epiphany’s first service team to El Hogar.

    And so began my sojourn with the youth of our Parish and the students and staff of El Hogar. This journey has been one of the great joys and formational experiences of my life. Mark left us in 2003, but in 2004, I returned to El Hogar, and have been going there every summer since – except for 2009 when the political situation caused cancellation two days before we left. That makes 15 trips with 205 people – and I hasten to point out that I always returned with the same number I left with! Many people went with me multiple times, but a total of 131 unique souls honored me in this way. One hundred and fifteen of our youth and 18 brave co-leaders helped me pull this off. Why do these numbers not add up to 131? Because two awesome people went with me as youth – grew up and helped me lead as adults.

    This year I will be not be going with the team to Honduras. As I write that line, a lump rises in my throat even as I know that the time has come to let others take up this extraordinary ministry. Apart from how much I will miss it, I feel only grateful. El Hogar is a place where the transformation promised by our Christian faith is worked out intentionally and lovingly on a daily basis. Children are given desperately needed shelter, food, and education in the hard environment of one of the world’s most cruelly poor and violent countries. It’s difficult and relentless work, yet they graciously welcome our young people to witness it and to take part in it. Every year, I have been honored to observe the gathering in of our youth as they experience a reality that could hardly be more different than the one in which they were raised. Without exception, our young people embraced this experience and were in turn transformed by it themselves.

    So, every summer, I got to re-experience this amazing process – each team took me along and showed me again the Kingdom of God. I cannot adequately express how thankful I am for those sacred moments. Thank you, beloved community, especially parents, for trusting me and sharing your precious young people with me. I remember and pray for every single one of them. To my teammates, my friends who always accepted me as one of their own indulged me, and showed me the light of Christ, I am humbled by your courage, compassion and good cheer. Many of you are grown now and even have babies of your own – something I can hardly process. God bless you all.

    Our Parish owes great appreciation to these travelers to Honduras. The relationship with El Hogar enriches and invigorates our community immeasurably. In many ways, the youth have led us in bringing it about and nourishing it. I know they will continue to bless us with their ministry. Good luck and Godspeed to this year’s team!

    Jason Kinchen


  • February 25, 2019 10:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear Sisters and Brothers, 

    When I first learned that Thomas was on the ballot for the Bishop of Maine, I got an uncomfortable knot in my stomach. What will we do? How will the wardens and vestry cope with all that needs to get done? The staff will feel unsettled, will they leave too? What is Miriam thinking? We will miss Thomas so much, what do I pray for… that Thomas is not elected?

    Now that the election is over and Thomas is indeed “Bishop-Elect,” I have had time to reflect and pray over what is in store for the Parish of the Epiphany, and my feelings have changed. I am very happy for and proud of Thomas, he will be a wonderful addition to the Episcopal Diocese of Maine. In turn, Maine will be an energizing place for him. The knot in my stomach is gone, replaced by feelings of excitement and anticipation of walking together with all of you during this time of transition.

    Thomas was called to be our 10th rector in 2009. His leaving after almost 10 years is very normal in the life cycle of an Episcopal parish, although very few rectors leave their church to become a bishop. We can all expect some type of major change or transition in our lives every ten years or so, and our church life is no different. 

    As your wardens, Dave McSweeney and I are aware that Thomas’s leaving will affect us differently. I am keenly aware that some of our elderly envisioned Thomas presiding at their own or their spouse’s funeral, some of our newcomers may be thinking “I just got here, I hardly know Thomas, and I want to know him better,” our children may not know what all the fuss is about, and many of us fear a time of uncertainty. With grace and prayer, Dave and I will do our part to make this emotional time a Spirit-led journey.

    When I get overwhelmed with too much to do in too little time I turn to lists. The Diocese of Massachusetts makes the transition process a little easier for us by providing a fairly extensive “checklist” of the tasks that we'll complete during this time. One of the first things to do is to give Thomas a proper goodbye. We are currently planning a party on the evening of Sunday, March 24th to celebrate with both Thomas and his spouse Tom Mousin. On Thomas’s last Sunday, March 31st, we will have a luncheon after the 10:00 am service. We will have two opportunities to be together, so please put those dates on your calendar and let us know if you can help with organizing either of these events.

    This past Friday Dave and I met with our Regional Canon, the Reverend Martha Hubbard. The next action on the “checklist” is to discuss how to set ourselves up for a successful search. We are very pleased to report that the Reverend Miriam Gelfer, our Associate Rector, will serve as our “Bridge Priest” until we engage an Interim Priest. We also discussed with Canon Hubbard the process for calling an Interim Priest. An Interim Priest is specially trained to assist a parish to evaluate its mission and ministry and to help the parish prepare for the arrival of a new rector. Dave and I will have an opportunity to interview many Interim Priests, but Miriam’s time as a Bridge Priest could be as long as six months.

    During a time of transition, our diocesan canons (the rules and policies, not the staff persons) make it clear that the role of the Interim Priest is to supervise the staff and to perform the offices of a priest (baptisms, weddings, funerals, services, pastoral care). The wardens, with the vestry, are the chief lay officers and legal agents of the parish.

    You will have the chance to hear directly from Canon Hubbard on March 17th. She will preach at both services. At 9:00am she will describe in more detail the search process, so please join us for this important informational session.

    In 2008, when the Parish of the Epiphany was preparing to call a new rector, we composed this prayer:

    “We pray that our new rector will provide long-term stability for us, allowing us to develop, articulate, and work together toward a shared mission for the parish. We hope above all else that every action of our rector will be rooted in Christ and Christian spirituality. We seek a woman or man of God who will embrace us completely and help us love others more fully.”

    Looking back at that chapter, I am struck by how blessed we have been. Thomas did bring stability. Our spirituality has grown both individually and as a congregation, and we certainly love others more fully as displayed by becoming a much more welcoming community than we were in 2008.

    Please join Dave McSweeney and me as we anticipate with joy, and as we share our joy in the next stage of our communal lives together.

    Faithfully yours,



  • February 01, 2019 3:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Two big, green lights!
    Vestry’s actions from last month’s meeting

    Wednesday, 23 January was a significant day in the life of our parish. The vestry met, as it does every month, but this was no ordinary meeting. In fact, last month’s meeting might get recorded as among the most monumental in our lifetimes. First, upon the recommendation of the accessibility team, as well as a committee who is responsible for advising the vestry about capital campaign expenditures, we chose C.E. Floyd to construct our elevator. The firm is well-established, has an excellent reputation, including with religious organizations, and is already planning for ground-breaking, maybe as early as next month.

    Second, upon the recommendation of the elevator fundraising team (Eileen Marks, chair; Dave McSweeney, Suzanne Owayda, Gabrielle Stott, and James Gammill) the vestry established a new unrestricted designated fund, now known as “Together Forever Property Fund.” Together Forever was created by transferring $200,000 from our unrestricted endowment. In the long-longterm we hope Together Forever will grow considerably, be the object of our planned giving, and be the source for funding annual maintenance/property costs at the Parish of the Epiphany. In addition to the transfer of $200,000 from our unrestricted investments, the vestry authorized the transfer of $125,000 from the General Fund into the Together Forever Fund. These monies, along with what we already have in hand (about $500,000), what has been raised quietly in the last few months ($175,000) will be combined, and then spent to pay for the elevator. Additional fundraising, to get us to the $1,000,000 that we need, will be necessary. We look forward to launching this parish-wide opportunity very soon, so that every part of our church will be accessible to all people.

    Faithfully in Christ,

    Rich Bartels, Clerk


  • February 01, 2019 3:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Annual Meeting revealed three truths

    Last Sunday’s annual meeting reminded me of three truths about our church family. The first is that we are transparent about what’s great and what’s not great. This is true about everything, but especially regarding our finances; we believe that when we give each other the whole story we foster generosity of spirit and treasure. By the way, the delicious tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches netted $1153.00 for the teen trip to El Hogar.

    The second truth is that we laugh. From where I was sitting I could see tables of people smiling and chatting and LAUGHING. That’s a gift of the Holy Spirit, even if it’s not listed so in Holy Scripture!

    A third truth I witnessed at the annual meeting is something that’s harder to explain. I sensed among us an embrace of the future, a certain excitement, mixed with readiness to roll up our sleeves. The great and late rabbi, Edwin Friedman, wrote and taught about being a “non-anxious presence.” One of the characteristics of the absence of anxiety is being able to look forward to what’s coming next.

    I would love to hear where you see God leading us into God’s future.

    Scenes from annual meeting:

                              



    Click here to hear the Rector's address to the Parish.
    Click here to read the Rector's address to the Parish.


  • January 18, 2019 3:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Thank you all for your participation in the nominating process; we were blessed by getting wider participation from more of the Parish. In 2018, we had approximately 70 people nominated for leadership positions by only six parishioners. This past nominating cycle, we had approximately 56 people nominated for leadership positions and they were nominated by 35 parishioners. The Nominating Committee had a wide variety of parishioners nominated for Warden, Vestry, and Delegates to Diocesan Convention; our discernment about who should fill those positions was quite lively. Thank you to all who participated as nominees and to the thoughtful nominators.
    We are pleased to announce that the slate for the 2019 Annual Meeting will include: David McSweeney for Warden
    Carol Kellogg, Jason Kinchen, and Warren McFarlan for Vestry
    Laura Dike and Cornelia Newell for Delegates to Diocesan Convention
    Susan Almquist and Marion Dry as Alternate Delegates to Convention 

    Also included in our discernment is the Nominating Committee for the 2020 Annual Meeting: they are Gayle Pershouse (as chair), Josh Reynolds, Patricia Aldrich, as well as one Warden and the Rector. This concludes the work of the Nominating Committee.

    Thank you,
    Suzanne Owayda for the Nominating Committee
    Laura Aldrich, Jonathan Foot, Martha Lewis.



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