August 10, 2023

Soul Work

Perhaps you know that Jesus needed his own "me time." We hear this Sunday in Matthew's gospel that "after Jesus had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray." Finding time for personal prayer, meditation, openness to talking to and listening for God in ourselves is soul work--and we all need it. Prayer can look different for each person, but it is my prayer that you have this kind of "me time" for yourself. Maybe you're like Jesus and it's about getting to a quiet place for yourself; maybe you're someone who connects with God on a long run or a brisk hike; maybe you commune with God most clearly when serving others or sharing a meal with loved ones or putting pencil to paper. Whatever it is, you need it--I need it--to simply stay fully alive. This is our soul work, and as Jesus says: What does it profit someone to gain the whole world, but lose their soul? When you notice yourself getting close to that loss, you know how true it is that few things matter as much as tending to our souls. So, friends, make some time for yourself, perhaps with others, but let that "me time" be about connecting you with God's Spirit that is in you and nudges you towards a more abundant life. Beginning next week, I am taking time away to be with my family and out in the beauty of creation in northern Maine. You all will be in my prayers as I am away.

I look forward to returning over Labor Day weekend or shortly thereafter. On Sunday, September 10th, we celebrate Rally Day. On that day, at the 10:00am service, we will have a joyous service with baptisms and the Blessing of the Backpacks, as we begin a new school year. After the 10:00am service we will have a festive lunch provided by Bella Isla Café, a restaurant in Chelsea that we’ve partnered with over the years to engage food insecurity. Whether it’s been a week or a few years since you’ve joined for in-person worship at Epiphany, you won’t want to miss the joy and fellowship, the crafts, games, bounce houses, or your chance to see the rector (and maybe others) get wet in the Dunk Tank. I look forward to seeing you there! 


Rally Day: September 10

On Sunday, September 10 following the 10:00am service, all are invited to our annual Rally Day celebration. Join us for lunch catered by Bella Isla, as well as crafts, games, a bounce houses for big and little kids, and a dunk tank! 

Faith Circles: Sign Up Begins September 3

Faith Circles are intentional, faith-based small groups that meet regularly to build deeper relationships with God and one another. A Faith Circle is a safe and meaningful space to share our faith, our doubts, our struggles, and our joys with one another. Look for more information in our newsletter.

Discover Course: Exploring Faith & Life

Join Rev. Nick in this course that begins in October and runs through early June. This twice a month course on Sundays explores Christian faith and life and invites each participant to discover their faith in deeper and more authentic ways. This course is for those new to the Christian faith, those exploring the Episcopal tradition, or those interested in more fully claiming a faith with integrity and joy. Contact Rev. Nick for more information.

Church School Volunteer Training and Orientation: Tuesday, September 12

Do you wonder what our group of children does at Church School, before we skip (run, roll, or slide) into the sanctuary for the Children's Sermon? Our morning classes are full of stories, art, play, creative prayer, and snacks. Are you interested in helping with our Church School this coming year, in any capacity?

On Tuesday, September 12 from 7:00-8:30pm, you are invited to our fall semester Church School volunteer training and orientation. 

We will get to know one another; talk about the goals and structure of our church school classes; discuss some tips for working with young children; familiarize ourselves with our class spaces; and even experience some of the lovely practices together. 

This is for all potential teachers and helpers. Please reach out to Bryn, our Director of Children's Ministries, if you are interested in participating. 

Church Building Closed: Aug. 29-Sept. 1

Please note the church building will be closed Tuesday, August 29 through Friday, September 1 for our annual floor cleaning. There will be no access to the building during this time. For administrative assistance during the building closure, please contact us at  

Reading and Book Groups for Parents & Caregivers

Raising children is full of both joy and challenge, the wonderful and the bewildering. Thankfully, we can take this journey in community. Over the coming months we'll combine the support of friends, the guidance of experts, and the loving presence of God in our new Parent Book Groups.*

Infants through Upper Elementary

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. This well-respected (and well-loved) book was written by a neuropsychiatrist and a parenting expert. It helps readers to "understand some basics about the young brain you are helping to develop and grow." Full of both big ideas and very practical day-to-day suggestions, this very readable book can help us to understand, support, and communicate well with our children. The authors hope to help us all "intentionally build a foundation for a lifetime of love and happiness" through the early years and beyond. 

Tweens and Teens

The Emotional Lives of Teenagers: Raising Connected, Capable, and Compassionate Adolescents. This new and much-talked about book is written by well-know adolescent psychologist Lisa Damour. In a very clear and accessible way, Damour explains teen brain development: emotions, judgment, anger, self-esteem, and independence. This book is full of reassuring statements and practical, valuable advice on how we can better communicate with our teenagers (how we can both listen and talk), and how we can help our teens express and manage emotions in healthy ways. 

When we can understand and communicate well with our children, we build fuller, healthier, and more loving relationships with them. These relationships are the soil in which our children--their bodies, hearts, minds, and faiths--can flourish.

For more information, or to express your interest in being part of either book group this fall, please email Bryn (Director of Children's Ministries and Chair of our 4th Soil Parenting Project). 

*There will also be cheese and chocolate.

Summer Choir: Every Sunday at 9:00am

The Summer Choir assists in leading the music at our 10:00am services, and anyone (entering 2nd grade or older) is invited to sing. Simply be in the choir loft at 9am on any Sunday you choose, and we will prepare the music for that day. Contact Jeremy at with any questions.

Summer Nursery Schedule

All of our wonderful caregivers will be traveling at various points over the next month and half, and we wish them all lovely vacations and times of rest. This will affect our summer nursery schedule, and some weeks our nursery will not offer drop-off care. 

  • August 13: No drop-off care
  • August 20: No drop-off care
  • August 27: Drop-off care with reduced numbers, for ages 9+ months 

Infants Under 9 Months
In order to provide drop-off care for infants under 9 months of age,  two childcare providers must be present. Weeks when we have only one childcare provider on duty, infants must be 9 months old to be dropped off. This is because we want to be sure that infants can be tended and kept safe from the multiple toddlers in the room. Thank you for your understanding! 

Help with Fellowship Hour!

Sign Up to Help with Fellowship Hour

Contributions to the shared food and help with clean-up are always appreciated. Please sign up to help by clicking the button above. 


This Week's Calendar

Click here to access the complete parish calendar.

Thursday, August 10

5:30pm Men's Group via Zoom 

9:00pm Compline via Zoom 

Friday, August 11

9:00am Yoga with Pam in the Upper Parish Hall

10:00am Funeral Service for Selina Woods

Sunday, August 13

8:00am Holy Eucharist: Rite I in the Sanctuary
9:00am Fellowship Hour in Hadley Hall 
9:00am Summer Choir Warm-up in the Sanctuary  

10:00am Holy Eucharist: Rite II in the Sanctuary and via YouTube

11:15am Fellowship Hour in Hadley Hall 

Monday, August 14

4:00pm Circle of Life Meeting via Zoom 

6:00pm AA Meeting in Hadley Hall  

7:30pm AA Meeting in Hadley Hall  

Tuesday, August 15

8:30am Employment Transition Group Meeting via Zoom

10:00am Staff Meeting in the Suter Room

1:00pm Pastoral Care Meeting in the Rector's Study

7:30pm Mission and Outreach Committee Meeting in the Suter Room

Wednesday, August 16

11:00am Prayer and Communion Service at The Gables of Winchester, 299 Cambridge St.

6:00pm Godly Play Storyteller Training in the Upper Parish Hall

7:30pm Vestry Meeting in the Chapel

Thursday, August 17

12:00pm Rotary in Hadley Hall and the Kitchen

9:00pm Compline via Zoom 


For More Information

For pastoral emergencies, please contact clergy by dialing 781-729-1922 Ext. 5. 
Click to view our Family Newsletter for parents, youth, and children. 
Click to find information on our worship services
Click to learn more if you are new to Epiphany.
Sign up for online pledge payments here.


70 Church Street, Winchester, MA  01890