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News from The Parish of the Epiphany

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  • January 30, 2018 1:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Click here to read Thomas J. Brown's annual address to the Parish.  The address was given on the occasion of the Parish's Annual Meeting on 28 January 2018.  To hear his address click here.

  • January 12, 2018 4:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Wider in Welcome: a reflection from Thomas J. Brown

    The Parish of the Epiphany has long been a community committed to welcoming all. In celebrating the Eucharist we have widened our welcome in two ways. First, several years ago, we began administering communion in front of the pulpit. We did this both to support the number of people for whom the chancel steps were a barrier, and also to expedite that part of the worship service. Second, in the last few years we have responded to people with celiac disease by consecrating rice or bean wafers. 

    Effective Sunday, 7 January 2018, we will use non-alcoholic wine or grape juice at the pulpit station. Holy Communion with sherry or port will continue to be administered at the rail near the high altar.

    What follows are my theological and pastoral thoughts about this change. Basically, we are widening our welcome to people who are recovering from addiction, or who refrain from alcohol for other health reasons, or for parents who would prefer their children not receive wine. This decision is rooted not only in our desire to respond pastorally, but also in our theology: it is God who feeds us with the spiritual food of the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood, and God who welcomes us home. 

    Historically the Episcopal Church has suggested that “quality bread and wine should be used for the Holy Eucharist.” However, in some parts of the Anglican Communion, the 38 independent churches around the globe with historic ties to the Church of England, concerns abound regarding what can be used to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. These questions and concerns are subjects of lively debate here in our diocese, too. 

    In some Islamic nations where alcohol is carefully controlled or even banned, Anglicans make do with quite remarkable products, including Coca-Cola! In other contexts bread and wine carry different cultural meanings, or they are prohibitively expensive, leading Anglicans to use rice or corn products for their eucharistic feasts. 

    Consider our relatively recent addition of gluten-free wafers, made from beans or rice, as a species for consecration. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church does not suggest that gluten-free wafers are unacceptable. Given our local context, I can’t imagine we, the Parish of the Epiphany, would say to somebody with celiac disease, “sorry, only a wheat wafer contains the Real Presence of Jesus Christ.”   

    What is bread and what is wine? One wouldn't typically think of an overly crisp wafer (stored in an electric brisker in our sacristy) as bread, but wafers have been used since the 9th century. For some of us they represent “communion” because they are what we’ve always had. Others would much prefer to see and to taste actual bread. Yet for most of us, I think, whether we receive a piece of bread or a wafer doesn’t matter because each not only symbolizes Holy Communion, but also contains the Real Presence. 

    When a gathered community gives their consent to a priest to lead them in prayer, as you do every Sunday to me and Miriam and any other priest who is with you, we rely, together, on the Holy Spirit to bless whatever gifts we offer, sanctifying them to be for us the Body and Blood, “the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him” (from Eucharistic Prayer A in the Prayer Book).

    Please contact me if you have additional questions, concerns, or comments. I welcome your thoughts. 

  • November 01, 2017 5:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have you ever been unable to get to Epiphany and yet wanted to receive the blessings of the sacraments? Did you know that there is a dedicated group of Epiphany Parishioners ready and willing to visit with you and bring God’s word and gifts? We are the Lay Eucharistic Visitors and we are available to visit everyone, not only just those who are sick, or grieving, or disabled.

    We are a close-knit team working with Thomas and Miriam in support of Epiphany’s pastoral ministry. We are all trained by the Diocese and regularly visit Parishioners in their homes, apartments, assisted living facilities, hospitals, and wherever we are a needed.

    Aside from illness or a prolonged rehab stay, we are available to bring the quiet comfort of the Eucharist into your home. Have your travels kept you from attending church? Have your children’s athletic events made Sunday morning attendance impossible? Please consider inviting us for a visit at any time, night or day, convenient for you.

    Simply contact Sarah Twiss in the Parish Office at 781.729.1922 and she will contact us. Soon after you will hear from one of us to set up a time to visit you.

    We sincerely hope that you take us up on our open invitation and look forward to visiting you and being with you in God’s presence.

    Your Lay Eucharistic Visitors Team

  • October 11, 2017 3:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Plans are well underway for Epiphany’s 2018 mission to Haiti that is scheduled for March 3–10, 2018. Would you like to participate in the next Haiti Mission by sewing cloth bags? A generous supply of fabric and sample sewing directions are available on the lower level, Higgins Formation Wing, in room 4. The directions are provided as a guide, not as rigid instructions. Take the stairs in the Hadley Hall entrance way. You will soon reach Room 4 in the lower hallway.

    Over the past five years, the many Haiti bag sewers have created  approximately 3,000 bags for the patients that have been seen by Epiphany's mission teams.  We like to sew bags with colorful prints, plaids, or graphic designs. The bags are used to hold the medicines and vitamins that are given to families. These bags are appreciated for their immediate usefulness and are cherished as an attractive item that can be used over and over again.

    For more information and any questions, contact Jan Conrod at 617.489.1247.

  • September 21, 2017 1:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Meetings are Friday mornings from 9:30-11:00am.

    Epiphany's parent/child playgroup is a place for parents to learn, share, and grow together as parents while their children play.

    We meet most Friday mornings 9:30 am - 11:00 am in the childcare room on the lower level. All parents, soon-to-be parents, grandparents, or anyone who enjoys a little chaos are welcome to drop by. For more information contact Carolyn Hughes.

  • September 21, 2017 1:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Every Thursday at 9:00am Contemplative Prayer will be offered in the Chapel. This a half hour service with candlelight and a good bit of silence. Celtic prayers will be used to center us and reflect upon. All are welcome.

  • September 21, 2017 1:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We worship every Wednesday at 7:30am in the Chapel. Preachers are lay members as well as clergy. The service runs 30 minutes and is followed by a light breakfast.

  • September 01, 2017 5:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Epiphany has developed partnerships with three schools in Leogane, Haiti: Ecole Ste. Croix, a K-12 Episcopal school , FSIL, the Episcopal Nursing School, and FSRL, the new Physical & Occupational Therapy School, lodged at FSIL. One goal of the program is building an ongoing relationship and sharing our faith. Education offers a long term solution for the problems of poverty in Haiti.

    During our medical mission to Haiti in March 2017, we met with Pere Sonley Joseph, Rector of Eglise Ste. Croix and Director of Ecole Ste. Croix (ESC). We brought 120 French books for the school library. He indicated his priorities: expand the library, update the computer lab, re-start a school lunch program, build a science lab, teacher development, and acquire soccer equipment. Before the earthquake, ESC had a strong music program, which Pere Sonley hopes to resurrect. ESC has a music teacher who teaches the students how to read music and sing, but they do not have any instruments. Pere Sonley plays the saxophone. We began to wonder about restarting a music program with instruments.

    Serendipity happens – or as Rev. Miriam calls it, God-incidence. A newsletter from our alma mater, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, noted that Prof. Janet Anthony in the music conservatory, had worked on BLUME (Building Leadership through Music Education) in Haiti for 20 years. Nick contacted Janet to learn about BLUME. She knows Ecole Ste. Croix in Leogane well because they held summer music camps there before the earthquake. Due to destruction in Leogane from an earthquake in 2010, they moved the camps to Hinche in the Haitian high plateau.

    Pere Sonley, has an ambitious vision for the music program, including instruments; trumpets, flutes, clarinets, trombones, saxophones, saxophones, violins, violas, cellos, contrabass, drum sets, guitars, pianos. We have received donations of: two clarinets, a trombone, a violin, a drum sets, and two pianoss. Janet Anthony is also helping us to turn this vision into a real music program.

    If you have musical instruments in good working order, please consider donating them to ESC for their music program. We plan to ship instruments to Haiti now and later this year. Please contact Nick Candee at 617-962-2498. We also welcome donations of books in French.

    Haitians love to play soccer. Pere Sonley requested soccer supplies for his seven Episcopal schools. FSIL Nursing School also requested soccer equipment.

    A young neighbor in Belmont, Courtney Grey, who plays soccer with Maggie Foot of Winchester, knows about our work in Haiti and did what she could to help our Haitian friends. Over the summer, she gathered myriad soccer supplies. She also secured the donation of several used goal posts from the Friends of Belmont Soccer. She showed a lot of love, kindness, and dedication in gathering such a lovely gift. Un cadeau de Dieux. Un regalo de Dios.

    If you have any soccer supplies or equipment, which you would like to donate to ESC, please contact Nick Candee at 617.962.2498.

    FSIL Nursing School: Nick and Linda will return to Haiti for the 10th graduation ceremony at the Episcopal FSIL Nursing School on 4 November; 32 students are expected to graduate. FSIL, founded in 2005, offers the only program for students to obtain a BA in nursing in Haiti. FSIL receives strong academic support from the University of Michigan Nursing School. Epiphany sponsors three nursing students at FSIL. Sponsorship of $4,000 per student per year includes tuition, room, board, books, uniforms, instruments, and transportation to clinical sites - a bargain.

    On Sunday, 26 November at Epiphany, Nick and Linda will discuss our work in Haiti in terms of discipleship during adult formation at 11:15am. We hope that you can join us. If you are interested in joining the Haiti education mission team, please contact Nick Candee at 617.962.2498.

    by Nick Candee and Linda Brown

  • June 23, 2017 2:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One of life's lessons is to tell our story, not to tell others’ stories. It’s an essential way to live. But there’s an exception to this rule, at least for me at this moment, and it has to do with our treasurer, Rick Marks. Rick was diagnosed with ALS last October, and he’s currently hiking the Appalachian Trail (along with several others from the Parish of the Epiphany). Rick is humble, and he really wants the people around him to remain positive. His story, at least as I’ve heard it, inspires my faith, and makes me want to share it with everybody I meet. Rick has created a blog about his hike. In addition to Rick’s hike, there are several others in our Parish bicycling from Boston College to New Haven, Connecticut, to raise money for ALS research; they’re doing this because of our friend Rick. There are many ways to be a Christian community, and Jesus himself never gave us a play-by-play book. What he said was, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” You can read Rick’s blog and see the photographs here: 

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70 Church Street
Winchester, MA 01890
Phone: 781.729.1922



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