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News from The Parish of the Epiphany

  • May 20, 2021 2:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Parishioner Brett Johnson smiling at camera Dave (McSweeney) and I fell in love with Epiphany in 2012 and joined both the parish and The Episcopal Church a year later. Neither of us had any idea how God would use these two decisions to launch us into deeper waters. My journey towards the priesthood began in my youth but was ripened here, at Epiphany, with so many of you, dear friends.

    In the spring of 2017, Jo Devlin, Mike Coltman, David Greeley, Sandra LaPerche, and Sarah Wasdyke were the Discernment Committee who recommended to the vestry that I be sponsored by Epiphany in the process from inquirer to postulant to candidate and, now, to ordinand. I am profoundly grateful.

    I am genuinely humbled to invite you to “attend” online my ordination into the Sacred Order of Deacons on Saturday, June 5 at 10:30 a.m. The service will be live-streamed from the Cathedral Church of St. Paul website at Reverend Nick will be representing all of you, but I also assure you that each one of you will be in my very full heart, with great thanksgiving.

    ~ Brett Johnson

  • April 22, 2021 1:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Group of Epiphany parishioners with bicycles and helmetsThat’s right, after a year of virtual riding, Team Epiphany will be participating in a COVID-safe, socially-distanced, mask-wearing, in-person ride to support the ALS Therapy Development Institute. Once again, your favorite fanatical cyclists will be pushing pedals to raise money for for cures and treatments for the terrible disease that is ALS.

    One of challenges of this strange time we are living in is that none of the other problems we had before COVID-19 have taken a break. We still live in a world where other diseases still do their nasty damage, and one of the worst is ALS.

    So, like last year, we are not letting the pandemic stop us from continuing our fight. We are not quite back to the three-day cycling event that took us from Boston to Greenwich, CT. This year we will have a one-day, 100-mile ride that still should be sufficiently challenging. And like last year, some on the team will participate virtually and record our miles on an athletics website called We’ll all be logging plenty of miles to keep up our end, even if we are not traversing the hills of Connecticut in a single weekend.

    We have lost two beloved parishioners to ALS in recent years, Rick Marks and Steve Lewis. We ride in their honor and memory, and we will not stop until cures and treatment are found. Please join us by contributing to this important effort.

    You can help in many ways:

    1. Navigate to our team page and contribute to the ALS Therapy Development Institute 
    2. Come ride with us – even if it's virtually. We are planning some appropriately socially-distanced group rides. Runners, walkers and other exercises are also welcome. Check it out here.  
    3. Cheer us on! Pray for us! You can check out all the riders clocking miles virtually here

    Thanks in advance for your support. If at all possible, we’d like to raise as much money as we have in past years. We know that’s a challenge with so many other concerns facing everyone, but we hope you will find it in your capacity to help us.

    And please stay safe and be well.

    ~ Team Epiphany

  • March 14, 2021 11:12 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Church exteriorWith Spring arriving soon, along with a declining rate of COVID-19 cases, and new opportunities to be vaccinated, our staff, vestry, wardens, and reopening committee are eager to share plans for regathering in person. While we have not yet set the exact date for reopening, we have set an internal goal of April 30th to complete all necessary preparations to safely open. Our rector, the Rev. Nick Myers, will work in consultation with parish leadership, diocesan guidelines, and the directives of public health officials informed by scientific and medical data when deciding on when to regather for indoor and in-person worship. Please see below for what has been accomplished so far.  

    Starting with the nave, we have installed an air purification system (ATMOSAir BiPolar Ionization system) which treats the air several times each hour. Ionization tubes clean the air inside the church, without using unsafe chemicals or creating any unwanted byproducts. Airflow passes over Ionization tubes that energize the air to form bi-polar — positive and negative — air ions and the airflow distributes these energized ions into all of the spaces served by the HVAC system. We have also outlined weekly cleaning and disinfecting protocols and ordered effective, plant-based disinfectants that will not harm our church’s beautiful wood interior.

    As there will be limited seats available in the church due to social distancing requirements, we will continue to video the Sunday services. To do this discreetly, the audio and video streaming setup will soon be transitioned out of the center aisle to a new system that has several installed camera feeds and wiring, hidden from sight. Equipment has been purchased, and potential suppliers are bidding on rewiring the nave to support this new equipment. Signage has also been beautifully designed and produced to help guide you in and around the church, with assigned pew locations, traffic flow arrows, and other helpful directions.

    To reserve a seat in advance of each service, an online user-friendly seat reservation system has been created which you will soon be able to access on our website at Lastly, as we work to reopen safely, we will be providing usher and greeter training. If you would like to be one, please contact the church office. We are greatly looking forward to being together again someday soon!

  • March 14, 2021 11:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On January 5, 2018, in the middle of a serious snowstorm, Maria, a Central American woman, facing deportation, entered Sanctuary at First Parish, a Unitarian church in Bedford, which became her home for three years and three months.    

    Preparation for this significant endeavor began in 2017, when First Parish voted almost unanimously to provide a Sanctuary space to one person facing expulsion. The church proceeded to hold two major fundraisers, which enabled the Sanctuary Committee to fashion a small apartment with kitchen appliances and a half bath on its second floor. A shower, washer and dryer were added to the basement.  


    The next step in this journey was to recruit other religious congregations help provide 24/7 supervision for a guest. In all, two Episcopal churches, two Jewish Synagogues, six Unitarian churches, (including the Winchester Unitarian Society), and an unaffiliated interfaith cooperative joined the movement – some 400 people in all. Two volunteers spent four-hour shifts at the church, 24 hours a day. Volunteers received two hours of in-person training, and ongoing supervision from a member of the Sanctuary Committee.

    The Parish of the Epiphany joined this important effort shortly after an Adult Education Presentation by members of the First Parish Sanctuary Committee in the spring of 2019.    

    Judy Cotton and Nelia Newell volunteered to be Epiphany’s Sanctuary Coordinators, and have been responsible for recruiting, arranging training, conducting background checks and helping to supervise our 21 volunteers.  

    During her stay in Sanctuary, Maria accomplished many things! She quickly became a valued member of the First Parish community, attending and singing at church services.  She was tutored in English, learned to knit, gardened, took piano and yoga lessons, participated in religious education classes, maintained contact with her family, worked with her legal team, and made friends with church staff and volunteers 

    On Tuesday, March 9th, we received the wonderful news that Maria had received a one-year stay of deportation. John Gibbons, Senior Minister at First Parish, sent the following statement to all involved with Maria and her care:

    “This status will allow Maria to obtain a work permit, pursue further legal options, come and go as she wishes, and ultimately to find new living quarters with her family. Our Coalition will continue to be needed as Maria transitions to the next phases of her journey to freedom.”

    Many, many thanks to the 21 Epiphany members who dedicated many hours to ensuring Maria’s care and well being, as well as the many who have strengthened this ministry through prayer and support. 

    Judy Cotton
    Nelia Newell
    Rev. Nick Myers

  • December 17, 2020 11:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    JANUARY 31, 2021

    Warden                        (for two years)              David McSweeney

    Clerk                            (for one year)                Eunice Aikins-Afful

    Treasurer                      (for one year)                Alan Briggs

    Associate Treasurer       (for one year)                Cornelia Newell

    Vestrypersons               (for three years)             Virginia Barrow,   James Bracciale, Lindsey Schrader

    Members of the Nominating Committee             Thomas Fries, Martha Lewis
    (for one year)                                                  Charlene Sanna, chair

    Delegates to Diocesan Convention                     Susan Almquist, Marion Dry
    (for one year)                                                
    Alternate                                                        Andrew Sanna

    Deanery Representative                                     Laura Dike, Ruba Gnanaratnam,
    (for one year)                                                     Fred Rowland

                                                                ARTICLE V


    There shall be a Nominating Committee appointed by the Vestry, consisting of the Rector, a Warden and three at-large members of the Parish, none of whom shall be vestrypersons. At large members of the Nominating Committee shall serve one-year terms following which they shall be ineligible to serve for one year. The Nominating Committee shall present at each Annual Meeting one or more candidates recommended for each position to be filled by vote at such meeting. The list of nominees so designated shall be posted with the notice of the Annual Meeting. Nominations for any office to be filled at an Annual Meeting may also be made at such meeting by any member of the Parish authorized to vote.

    The Nominating Committee
    Leslie Aitken
    Sarah Conner, Interim Rector
    David McSweeney, Warden
    Heather Keith-Lucas
    Robie White (chair)

  • November 12, 2020 11:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here we are in November, and in "normal times," we would be getting ready for festive Thanksgiving celebrations with extended family and friends. We would be attending concerts, theatre, and sporting events and preparing for Advent and Christmas. This year it's quite different. While there is disappointment, sadness, and yes, even anger about our current limitations, there can also be joy and gratitude if we look closely enough; we are by nature creative beings with the ability to adapt and persevere. "What you pay attention to grows" (Emergent Strategies, adrienne maree brown).

    God is our refuge and strength, a very present [proven] help in trouble (Psalm 46.1)

    Today, I'm writing to let you know about a few important things that we're getting ready for during this "different time."

    Getting Ready for in-person worship

    Our Regathering Committee has completed their report and handed it off to the vestry. We are grateful for both the time and due diligence that the committee dedicated to creating the report, which serves as a fantastic blueprint for moving forward to reopen as safely as possible.

    Please join me in extending our thanks to Mary Street, committee chair, committee members Virginia Barrow, MD, Jared Cumming, Jason Kinchen, Gloria Korta, MD, and Lauren Michalski. You can read the executive summary and recommendations here. There is a link to the full report in that posting.

    I do want to emphasize we don't have a reopening date, as there is much preparation work to do, and the pandemic is still an ongoing source of concern and caution. But we want to move forward with our preparations so that we will be ready when conditions are right. Here is an outline of our implementation plan:

    The vestry has authorized spending $40,000 to upgrade our streaming equipment and our sanctuary ventilation systems for simultaneous in-person and at-home worship.

    • Those projects are being transferred to the capable hands of our Property Committee for implementation.
    • We are forming teams to handle the creation of indoor and outdoor signage, the recruiting and training of the re-envisioned roles of usher and greeter, the handling of weekly requirements for cleaning/disinfecting, and the managing our reservation system.

    Please join me in praying that we have a clear path forward together and that our work and patience will result in a meaningful reunion.

    I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. (Psalm 122.1)

    Getting Ready for our Rector

    The vestry has created a Rector Transition Committee whose membership includes Jane White, chair, Annie Bing, Jim Bracciale, Lee Kaukas, and John McConnell. Their responsibilities are to:

    • Serve as a committee of welcome for the Rev. Nick Myers and his family
    • Introduce Nick and his family to the Winchester and broader community; help as needed in relocation.
    • Work with Nick, Bethany, Bennett, and Lennox to determine creative ways to meet the congregation during this period of social distancing; organize and facilitate as necessary.
    • Assist at the beginning of the new ministry.

    The committee will work closely with church staff members, appropriate committee chairs, and individual parishioners to carry out its responsibilities.

    Since announcing our call, Suzanne and I have had a few planning calls with Nick; we are excited to be working together as a team and are looking forward to his arrival.

    Please pray for Nick and his entire family as they embark on their journey with us. We are blessed.

    Stay tuned for information on how we will celebrate the completion of Sarah Conner's Interim ministry with us.

    For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. (Psalm 91.11)

    Dave McSweeney,

  • September 18, 2020 2:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It is hard to believe that we have been in quarantine or socially distanced for over six months and most of us have not been in the physical presence of those with whom we are enriched. Thanks to the dedication and tireless efforts of so many people at Epiphany, we have been able to participate in many of the valued activities of Epiphany, maintained for us as an online community.

    We are social beings and despite all the collective efforts to live “virtually” and remain connected, pandemic fatigue may have set in, leaving exhaustion in the trail of disruptions that have been experienced. You or someone you know may be struggling with challenges that the pandemic has brought, such as anxiety over health, isolation and loneliness, or grieving the loss of “normal.” The significant celebrations of life – births, weddings, anniversaries, holidays – have been changed. The physical support we normally feel from our families when in grief or illness is diminished. Work, childcare and school are all taking place in the home for some, where previously it was our haven from daily stresses. The uncertainty of financial strain, potential job loss or the future haunt some. For essential workers and health compromised people, there is fear for their own health as well as for the people they encounter each day. Added to the issues surrounding the pandemic, our daily news brings us news of injustice, natural disasters and issues relevant in a significant national election year.

    In Miriam’s last message to us in 3 Crowns, as she thanked the Epiphany community, she reminded us that God sends us companions along the way to accompany us in our life work and faith journey. She was instrumental in helping us start a Stephen Ministry program here about two years ago. Stephen Ministry is a 45-year-old national organization that helps parishes to organize, equip, and supervise a team of parishioners—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, one-to-one, Christ-centered care to parishioners experiencing life difficulties.

    If you are feeling disconnected or in need of a companion, a Stephen Minister is ready to listen, care, encourage and provide emotional and spiritual support so that you don’t have to face your issues alone. With complete confidentiality, a Stephen Minister can meet with you privately – by phone, video chat or, if safely possible, outside in person – to offer care and support. If you would like to learn more about Stephen Ministry at Epiphany, or if you would like to have a Stephen Minister, please contact our interim rector, the Rev. Sarah Conner, at She will be glad to talk with you and, if you wish, to connect you with a Stephen Minister.

    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

    ~ Epiphany’s Stephen Ministry Leaders: Joan O’Connor, Ted Kellogg, and Gloria Korta

  • August 28, 2020 11:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As COVID-19 infection rates remain high in Chelsea and job loss and food insecurity persist, St. Luke’s- San Lucas Episcopal Church continues to work hard to meet the need. Volunteers at St. Luke’s distribute thousands of pounds of groceries to over 600 people every Saturday.

    For over 10 years, Epiphany has partnered with St. Luke’s by supporting their feeding programs with both volunteers and funding. In pre-COVID times, we stocked the shelves of the pantry every Friday morning for Saturday distribution and one Saturday per month a group of volunteers prepared and served breakfast and lunch for anyone in the community looking for a hot, home cooked meal. With these programs closed for now and the city funded emergency food distribution in place, there are 4 ways that we can continue to help our friends in Chelsea.

    Donate to the “Meals for Chelsea” Partnership

    In May, Parish of the Epiphany, St. Luke’s, and Bella Isla Restaurant entered into a “Meals for Chelsea” partnership. Funds are raised through a GoFundMe account (managed by Betsy Walsh) and each week funds are disbursed to the restaurant. Bella Isla creates 150 certificates for free meals and these certificates are distributed on Saturday to those waiting in line for groceries. This program provides a hot meal for those who need it AND helps keep a small (minority woman owned) business open. It is going really well and we are seeing a certificate redemption rate of over 90%. As we increase the number of certificates over time and extend the program into the fall, we will need additional funding. Please consider donating by clicking this link.

    Donate Gift Cards

    When the food runs out on a Saturday or local people come to the church on other days looking for help, Father Edgar (Vicar at St. Luke’s- San Lucas) really appreciates having gift cards to give out. Please purchase $25 gift cards for either Market Basket or Stop and Shop. Roz Nazzaro (1 Dunham Street, Winchester, MA 01890) collects them in Winchester and Tracy Podol (9 Falmouth St, Belmont, MA 02478 ) collects them in Belmont. Please drop the cards at one of their homes and they will deliver them to St. Luke’s on Fridays.

    Donate Personal Care Items

    Father Edgar likes to have a supply of toiletries and feminine hygiene items on hand for those who ask. Donations of soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, deodorant, and sanitary pads are in the greatest need. These can also be dropped off or mailed to Roz or Tracy (see point #2).

    Donate Funds to the Funeral Fund at St. Luke’s

    Father Edgar has alerted us to the increased need for assistance with funeral costs. He will gladly accept checks made out to the Vicar’s Discretionary Fund with “Funeral Fund” written in the memo line. Checks may be mailed to St. Luke’s- San Lucas Church, 201 Washington Ave, Chelsea, MA 02150

    Thank you so much and please contact us with any questions!
    Betsy Walsh
    Claudia Bell
    Roz Nazzaro

  • August 26, 2020 10:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    August 26, 2020

    Dear Friends,

    In the midst of all that we are coping with right now, we hope this summer has offered you and your family some time of rest, relaxation, and renewal. As September approaches, we’re writing with an update about what the fall will look like at Epiphany. We expect that our fall worship and programming will remain online.

    Our bishops continue to strongly encourage parishes to refrain from in-person worship and to provide online opportunities for worship, formation, and all other aspects of parish life. Our Journey by Stages Advisory Committee continues to tackle the complex diocesan requirements for preparing our church for reopening. It is slow, patient work that will be extremely helpful once it is safe for us to gather in person.

    Epiphany’s staff, committees, and parishioners have been working hard to plan for the fall – here is just some of what’s in store:

    Rector Search Process is in the Homestretch: Our Rector Search Committee is now conducting final interviews, and we anticipate that a new rector will be called sometime in October! The committee has been prayerful and thorough in its work, and committee members are enthusiastic about the candidates with whom they are in mutual discernment.

    Rally Day is September 20th: Rally Day is a cherished tradition at Epiphany, and an online Rally Day is being planned this year. Though we will not be able to gather in person, we are excited to offer a program that we hope will capture the spirit of Rally Day. Stay tuned!

    Programs for Children and Youth to Offer Love, Support, Hope, and Connection: Bryn Hollenbeck, Interim Director of Faith Formation, shares this update: “This fall, Epiphany will offer full programming for our children and youth, focusing on what they need most right now – love, support, hope, and connection – and on ways children and youth can bring love and healing to our world. We’ll build our relationships with Zoom time, offer asynchronous online learning opportunities with new classroom websites, and provide off-screen materials for faith formation at home. We are excited for a fall full of new ideas.”

    Choral Music Will Continue to Feed Our Souls: Craig Benner, Director of Music and Organist, shares this update: “Choral music will continue to play a vital role in Epiphany’s worship this fall even in these difficult times. We will continue to have our ‘Hollywood Squares’ style anthems done by the choir, and two of our section leaders will continue to lead us in worship. New for this fall, our section leaders will be recording four-part anthems, and leading Zoom choir rehearsals with choir members. You will also see occasional online choir videos that feature the whole choir. Watch for these on our online Evensong in November and our online Lessons and Carols in December.”

    Look for more information about this fall at Epiphany – including adult formation and stewardship opportunities – in The 3 Crowns. We are grateful to each of you for your patience, your perseverance, and your prayers as we navigate this challenging time. Truly, Christ continues to walk with us, giving us the strength and resilience we need. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you may have.

    Together in Christ,
    Suzanne Owayda and Dave McSweeney, Wardens
    Sarah Conner, Interim Rector

  • August 21, 2020 11:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear friends,

    I hope you are finding joy in these late-August days. Parents, I share with you the stress of making choices for our children's new school year: public, private, remote, blended, hybrid, homeschool, pods. There is loss and grief in each choice, and I hope some joy and anticipation as well. I pray that you may feel peace in your decision and a freedom from comparing your choice with that of others. Every family is unique in what will work best for them.

    While school may be full of questions and anxiety, I hope this church will be a steady rock of support and encouragement for your family in the coming year. Your clergy, staff, Sunday School teachers and youth leaders have been working and planning throughout the summer. Although we aren't gathering in person this fall, the Parish of the Epiphany will offer a full and exciting program year of learning, creating, and sharing for all our children and youth. This community of faith is ready and eager to share our love of God and one another.

    Our 2020-2021 programming will focus on what children and youth need now--love, safety, hope, connection--and on ways they can be empowered to shape and heal the world around us.

    Full details, and directions for how to connect and receive materials, will be in next week's newsletter.

    Peace and love,

Location & Contact

70 Church Street
Winchester, MA 01890
Phone: 781.729.1922


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