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News from The Parish of the Epiphany

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  • June 25, 2020 1:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Journey By Stages Advisory Committee had its first meeting on Monday, June 15, and they have begun the work outlined in the Vestry's charge to the committee. The members of the committee are

    Mary Street, Chair
    Ginger Barrow
    Jared Cumming
    Jason Kinchen
    Gloria Korta
    Lauren Michalski

    In addition to their strong faith and commitment to our parish, this group's professional gifts include deep medical, scientific, technology and public sector experience. Please be sure to thank them for the very important work they are undertaking to help us determine how we can open for in-person worship.

  • June 05, 2020 9:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In addition to the 10:00am Sunday morning service online, Epiphany also offers: Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, and Compline.
    May God continue to strengthen the bonds of love among us as we pray together in these days.  

    Tuesdays at 12:00pm via Zoom: Noonday Prayer

    A few minutes of prayer at noontime can refocus our minds and hearts on God, and refresh us for the afternoon ahead.  The Reverend Sarah Conner leads a brief service of Noonday Prayer at noon every Tuesday.  The service, found on page 103 of the Book of Common Prayer, includes a psalm, a short reading, the Lord’s Prayer, time for intercessions, and prayers.  Here is the Zoom link for the service. 

    Wednesdays via Youtube: Morning Prayer

    Each week Suzanne Owayda presents Morning Prayer from Epiphany's Chapel as a way to start your day with prayers, lessons, and a variety of lay preachers.  The service is from the  Book of Common Prayer, page 75. Here is the Youtube link for the service.

    Thursdays at 9:00pm via Zoom: Compline 

    The service is a lovely way to end the day with prayers and readings, and can be done by each of us whenever we like, beginning on page 127  in the Book of Common Prayer. Mary Street joins with friends for this short service of evening prayers. Here is the Zoom link for the service. 

    Sundays at 10:00am via Youtube: Holy Eucharist

    The Reverend Sarah Conner officiates at a service of Holy Eucharist that includes a Prayer of Spiritual Communion. The complete service bulletin is available here. Here is the Youtube link for the service.

  • May 08, 2020 4:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Stephen Ministry at Parish of the Epiphany is currently providing one-to-one Christian care to members of our parish. Our ten Stephen Ministers are assigned to ten care receivers and are meeting twice a month in Supervision Groups that provide support for the Ministers during the process. While the Ministers listen to, care for and walk with those going through difficult times in their life, they also describe how much they grow through serving in this ministry.

    Care receivers are those struggling through a challenge, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness or some other life crisis. We can add loneliness and isolation as more prominent conditions in the times that we are now living in. Stephen Ministry is there to provide a compassionate companion to those who are hurting.

    Anyone in the parish can self-refer for a chat to assess their needs. Those who know others who may be in need can bring it up as an option to them or provide the referral to a member of the Stephen Ministry Leadership team.

    The current group of Stephen Ministers are Marie Lee, Neville Lee, Mary Street, Jason Kinchen, Sandra LaPerche, Shukong Ou, Nancy Nies, Susan Almquist, Jennifer Shire, and Ellen Wilson. We are so grateful for their faithfulness to their Care Receivers, especially during such challenging times. Epiphany's Stephen Leaders are Miriam Gelfer, Barbara DeWolfe, Ted Kellogg, Gloria Korta, and Joan O'Connor.

  • April 17, 2020 12:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Even though our building is closed, the work of our church hasn’t stopped. It has shifted.  And we want to thank everyone who has made an Easter gift to Epiphany and for staying current with your pledge.

    We encourage you to pay your pledge as you are able, as your financial support is needed.  Pledge payments can be made online, which is especially convenient during this time.  Please visit our Online Giving page for details.  If you’d like some help setting it up, please contact our financial administrator, Suzy Westcott.  You can also mail a paper check to the church or add the church to your bank’s online bill pay service. 

    We do understand that circumstances have changed, and that you may not be able to pay your pledge at this time. If you need to make an adjustment to your pledge, please notify Suzy.

  • March 26, 2020 6:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    March 26, 2020

    Dear Epiphany friends,

    It’s hard to believe it’s been two weeks since we made the incredibly painful decision to close our church building for worship and meetings.  We write to you today with grateful hearts and with a gentle reminder about our pledges. 

    Even though our building is closed, the work of our church hasn’t stopped. It has shifted: 

    • Our pastoral ministry teams – Epiphany Visitors, Eucharistic Visitors, and Stephen Ministers – and our clergy are reaching out by phone to help us stay connected;
    • We are offering virtual worship on Wednesday mornings (Morning Prayer) and Sunday mornings (Morning Prayer with music, followed by a virtual coffee hour!);
    • Our Vestry met via Zoom last week, and also restarted the Parish Fellowship Groups, reaching out by email to parishioners to see both what is needed and who can help;
    • Our youth groups – Genesis and YPF – are meeting via Zoom;

    • Families with young children are being offered support and new ways to help our children learn and grow spiritually;

    • Our Adult Christian Formation committee is exploring online formation resources;
    • 3 Crowns comes to us every Monday morning with parish news, and we are sending additional, regular updates during this time.

    • We are making sure that our building is clean and in good repair, ready for when we can gather again for worship, meetings, and events in that beautiful space;

    • We are paying our bills and making payroll.

    All of this – and more! – is made possible by the hard work of our dedicated and wonderful staff, lay ministers, committees, and other volunteers. 

    We encourage you to pay your pledge as you are able, as your financial support is needed and appreciated.  Some parishioners make their pledge payments online, which is especially convenient during this time.  Please visit our Online Giving page for details.  If you’d like some help setting it up, please contact our financial administrator, Suzy Westcott.  You can also mail a paper check to the church or add the church to your bank’s online bill pay service. 

    We do understand that circumstances have changed, and that you may not be able to pay your pledge at this time. If you need to make an adjustment to your pledge, please notify Suzy.

    With gratitude for each of you, and mindful of God’s abundant blessings, we are,

    Yours in Christ,
    Suzanne Owayda and Dave McSweeney, 

  • March 25, 2020 11:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mission and Outreach have put together a list of organizations that we can help during these critical times. For the most part, financial donations are preferred.

    1) St. Luke's in Chelsea is desperate for additional funds. This is where a group of Epiphany folks stock shelves weekly on Fridays at the Food Pantry. Checks can be sent to St. Luke's- San Lucas Episcopal Church (write "food programs" in the memo), 201 Washington Ave, Chelsea, MA 02150.

    2) St Stephen’s Youth Programs has created a Pandemic Relief Fund to support our families who face job loss and food/ housing insecurity. Donations can be made here designate Pandemic Fund. Contact Betsy Walsh for more information.

    3) The International Institute for New England work with immigrants and refugees and also need financial donations. Please donate here to help our neighbors in need.

    4) We should not forget that UU Bedford is still supporting their guest in Sanctuary even though the volunteer shifts have been temporarily suspended due to the pandemic. Financial donations will help defray their costs - they are into their third year of providing sanctuary. Send checks to: First Parish, 75 Great Rd., Bedford, MA. 01730, "Sanctuary Fund" in memo line.

    Sanctuary volunteers can no longer perform shifts, as per a Town of Bedford order that prohibits people from entering any public buildings in the town. For further information about our guest’s status, please contact Judy Cotton or Nelia Newell.

    5) A group from Epiphany prepare and serve breakfast and lunch on the 3rd Saturday of every month at St. Luke's in Chelsea. The serving of hot food is temporarily suspended. However a group of Epiphany folk prepared brown bag lunches which were distributed at the food pantry this past Saturday. Contact Claudia Bell if you would like to help going forward.

    6). Hospitals are running out of surgical masks. If you have a sewing machine and can help make any, please contact Judy Cotton for details.

    Obviously, there are many other worthy causes in need right now - most of this listed above are already supported by Mission and Outreach grants and Epiphany is actively involved with them.

  • March 05, 2020 11:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    5 March 2020

    Dear Beloved Parish,

    Your Search Committee is excited to share with you that we have now entered into the next phase of the process – we have established a “long list” of candidates!

    For the past 2+ months, the committee has been pouring over candidate cover letters, resumes, and written responses to common questions. We’ve also been reading, listening to, and watching videos of sermons. We continued to pray for God’s guidance as we considered, “could this person be the next Rector of Epiphany?” All of this careful review and consideration culminated in a winnowing meeting held in the Parish chapel this past Saturday, February 29th. At this meeting, the committee shared perspectives on candidates, noted pros and cons, and finally, voted on a slate of 11 candidates to take into the interview phase.

    This long list will be further refined through a series of interviews to take place over the next four to six weeks. Interviews will be conducted by sub-teams from our committee and each interview will be attended by as many committee members as possible. After conducting all the candidate interviews, we will gather for another meeting to further winnow the list. At that point, we will then begin visiting candidates to support the final rounds of discernment.

    It’s also worth mentioning that confidentiality remains paramount as we enter this new phase. It is respectful to candidates who are under consideration that neither their names or status be shared with anyone outside of the Search Committee. One can imagine the complication if a priest active in our process had her intentions  known to her current Parish. We thank you for helping us maintain this strict confidentiality.

    We thank you for your continued support and prayers for our work. At this time, we especially ask you to pray for the Search Committee as we begin to conduct interviews. Pray for our wisdom in selecting questions to ask candidates that will allow them to reveal their most true selves to us. We leave you with the prayer we begin each Search Committee meeting with:

    Loving God, as we gather tonight, help us to pause and remember your presence. We have faith that you are here, within us, among us, between us. In this moment, and in all our work together, help us to remain present to each other, to listen with attentiveness and to speak with care. In this period of transition, guide us in discernment. Give us strength, courage, and wisdom that we may remain open to the call of your Spirit and to the new life that awaits our community. In the months to come, help our beloved parish family to welcome and support a new pastor and priest. In all of this, keep us grounded in your love. We pray in the name of our brother Jesus Christ, the author of our salvation. Amen.

    Love in Christ,
    Liz Kinchen
    Michael Schrader
    Co-Chairs, Search Committee


  • March 04, 2020 11:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    3 March 2020

    Dear friends at Epiphany,

    As announced this past Sunday, we want to share with you some commonsense safety measures – recommended by our diocese – for when we gather for worship, meetings, and other activities at Epiphany. These practices will help prevent the spread not only of the coronavirus but also the flu and the common cold. By following them, we can help care for each other.

    • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and hot water.

    • If you are sick, or simply not feeling well, the best thing to do is to stay home.

    • If you are sick, or not feeling well, and are scheduled to serve (as an usher, greeter, teacher, lector, LEM, etc.) or attend a meeting or class at Epiphany, again, please stay home. Notify someone if you can, but even if you can’t, rest assured that someone will cover for you.

    • You may choose to exchange the Peace with a simple bow or verbal greeting, rather than a handshake or other physical contact.

    • Hand sanitizer is available in every gathering space at Epiphany. In the sanctuary, bottles of hand sanitizer are on the tables in the back of the church; they are also now on small tables by the chancel steps so that you may use it on your way to receiving Communion.

    • Intinction (dipping the Communion wafer into the chalice) is not recommended. Sipping from a chalice that is continually wiped with a purificator and rotated presents relatively low risk. If you wish to receive only the bread, please know that in the Episcopal Church, we believe that the grace of the sacrament of Holy Communion is fully present in either the consecrated bread or wine.

    • Those who welcome others – such as greeters, or clergy and wardens in the receiving line – may choose to greet either by shaking hands or by offering a verbal greeting.

    • Please pray for those who are ill, for caregivers, and for healthcare workers.

    We hope that this information is helpful to you. More information and resources from the Diocese of Massachusetts can be found here. We are actively monitoring the situation and will provide any revised guidance as needed. Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.

    Faithfully in Christ,
    Suzanne Owayda and Dave McSweeney, Wardens
    The Rev. Sarah Conner, Interim Rector
    The Rev. Miriam Gelfer, Associate Rector

  • February 28, 2020 3:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Beloved Community,

    We have begun our Journey towards the Cross, our Lenten Journey to prepare us for the Greatest Feast Day of the Church Year - Easter. I hope you will look upon these next six weeks as "spring cleaning" or a "tune up" for your soul. This holy season bids us to slow down and take some time to pray and reflect and find ways to express our faith in new ways, perhaps.

    If you long to cultivate a regular time for prayer but feel like you just can't squeeze one more thing into your day, I have some resources for you below. Like any new habit, whether it is exercising or eating better, or setting aside time to pray, it takes time and discipline to cultivate a behavior that will last.

    So I offer you some "habits of the heart" to bring you closer to the heart of God, who longs to be in relationship with you!

    Blessings and Peace,

    Miriam +

    Online Daily Prayer: click here 
    Five minutes or less. Geared toward youth & young adults but good for all ages

    Beautiful, brief daily devotions by the Irish Jesuits click here

    Celtic Prayer Book – beautiful prayers click here

    The Book of Common Prayer online click here

    Some helpful tips on eco-friendly Lenten disciplines click here

    In the Book of Common Prayer,
    The complete Psalms begin on p. 585
    Prayers and Thanksgivings begin on p. 814
    A Prayer attributed to St. Francis on p. 833

    Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

  • February 11, 2020 9:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Epiphany heartsSurely, you’ve seen the colorful hearts draped over the lovely crab apple tree in our front yard. The explosion of color against the flat gray February sky is the perfect anecdote for the longest stretch of New England winter.

    These calico, striped and rainbow hearts dot trees and porches throughout town. You might wonder, as I did, how this kind tradition began. It all started with Helene Cabour, an avid quilter looking for a second life for the abundant scraps left over from projects. A friend suggested making hearts and hanging them from the tree in front of her house on Bacon St. She went right to work and began stitching together and stuffing the hearts with excess quilting supplies.

    That first year, almost 30 years ago, Helene hung about 70 hearts from the tree in front of her Bacon St. home. It was such a large tree; she didn’t think anyone even noticed. So, the second year, with an arsenal of hearts built up, she and a friend hung 400 hearts. “Then”, she says with the spunk of a less-than-90-year-old, “they paid attention!”. The following year they multiplied to 1500. The current residents of the Bacon St. house still honor the tradition.

    In the following years parishioners Nancy and Carl Hagge began hanging hearts anonymously at night at the homes of friends and shut-ins, anyone who might need a boost of cheer on a winter dawn. It’s such a heart-warming gesture and one that has been copied by others.

    In 2006 a group of crafty parishioners began making “heart kits” for people to make at home. The hearts are sold at the Christmas Fair and in the office as a fund raiser. An ample supply of hearts is still available for sale in the office each year.

    Each year following the Annual Meeting, the tree is “hearted” by parishioners. Fred Benson removes them later in the month and then Alison Taber tackles the monstrous task of untangling them all and then hanging them to dry before packing them up for the next season.

    As the Christmas candles fade in the distance these spectacular hearts are just what we need to inspire some happiness mid-winter. As Helene so eloquently put it, “If these hearts can make someone smile, even just for a minute, they are worth hanging.”

    Written by by Linda McDonough

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70 Church Street
Winchester, MA 01890
Phone: 781.729.1922



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