December 8, 2022

Will There Be Enough Soup?

“And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8

This past Sunday afternoon, members of our vestry, our Property, Creation Care, Planned Giving, and recently formed Capital Campaign committees met to have a strategic planning conversation about our campus. It was the first of what I expect will be many conversations with this group. We met out of a desire to integrate the many discussions over the past several months and develop a sense of alignment on the big picture for our campus: what the significant issues and decision points will need to be to move forward. And we had a conversation about our values.

We enjoyed lunch and fellowship during the first 30 minutes of our 3-hour session. We had a simple meal: soup, salad, and bread. I made my mother’s carrot soup. I have her recipe scribbled on a piece of paper in my own writing; I recalled years ago, she read it to me over the telephone. The recipe doesn’t make much – it calls for a pound of carrots, an onion, and two and a half cups of vegetable stock. So, most of the week leading up to the meeting, I was obsessing about how many multiples of the recipe I should make; it looked like we might have anywhere between 20 and 30 attendees. Ultimately, I settled on 10 pounds of carrots and went from there. It didn’t stop me from second-guessing myself, fretting that it might not be enough, laughing at myself for being so worried; you get the picture.

Part of our effort in parish life together involves shifting our culture to move away from the binary view that our building and our mission are somehow separate items. In my mind, we need to talk about the property for a while so that we can stop talking about the property. And what I mean by that is our vestry has developed a vision to self-fund our property needs from our endowment so that our pledge dollars are entirely focused on our people and our mission. To achieve that vision, there’s work to do, and it involves talking about our property.

At the end of 2021, the vestry charged the Property Committee with helping us get a comprehensive view of our campus maintenance needs so that we could do a better job of longer-term planning and financial forecasting. That work resulted in an engagement with Commercial Construction Consulting (C3) out of Boston.

C3 reports that while overall, the properties are well maintained and are in good condition, there are items nearing the end of their expected life and needing immediate attention. The accumulated cost to address repairs, spread over ten years, is estimated at $5.7 M. It’s essential to know that this figure is to maintain our campus and doesn’t include renovations or additions that we may want to do as we consider other uses for the campus.

Our afternoon was filled with several 15-minute sessions, through which we developed a set of property categories and core values that we’d like to apply to each topic to help us discern what will be next. We’ll be sharing more of this work with you in the coming months.

As you might imagine, our conversations veered into the “how in the world will we afford this” territory, and the room was mixed with both optimism and concern. I was reminded of how I was worried about whether there would be enough soup for lunch (granted, on a much smaller scale). In the end, there was enough soup; I even took home leftovers for lunch on Monday. While we don’t know where we will end up in this strategic conversation about the property, I know that God is able to provide us with every blessing in abundance. For now, I need to trust that we’ll have enough.

Dave McSweeney, warden

Last Chance to Submit Christmas
Poinsettias & Music Dedications

Make Your Poinsettia Dedication Online!

Every year, the sanctuary is decorated with beautiful poinsettias and greens in memory of loved ones or in gratitude for blessings received. To dedicate a poinsettia using our online form, please click here. Submissions must be received by this Sunday, December 11 so that your dedication may be included in the Christmas bulletins.

To make a contribution in any amount for the poinsettias and greens decorating the church, or to the music during our services, please give online. Select "Christmas Flowers/Music" from the "Fund" dropdown menu. You can also drop a check in the Sunday offering plate or mail it to the parish office. Please make checks payable to the Parish of the Epiphany and write "Christmas Poinsettia/Music" in the memo line. 


Stewardship Update: Thank You
(And to Those Who Haven't Yet Pledged,
We Need You!)

Pledge Online

As of December 5, 201 households have pledged $999,615 to support our life and ministry together in the coming year including 25 new pledges and 81 who increased their pledges over last year. To each of you, thank you! 

If you have not yet pledged, join us in supporting our life and ministry together. What we do at Epiphany is almost entirely supported by the pledges of our members (90% of Epiphany’s operating budget is funded by pledges). Program materials (from bulletins, to coffee, to outreach funds for the vulnerable in the communities around us, to the tubs of Play-Doh that the children love so much during their “work time” in church school), staff salaries, paying our heating and electric bills: all of these are funded by the financial support of each one of us. 


Gun Violence Vigil: December 10

On Saturday, December 10 at 4:00 pm, there will be a community vigil at the Woburn United Methodist Church to honor all victims and survivors of gun violence. It is part of a nationwide effort to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and to highlight the impact that gun violence has on families and communities. The vigil will also be live streamed here


Youth Christmas Movie Night

Join us on Saturday, December 10 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm for a youth (6th — 12th grade) holiday movie night with crafts, snacks, and festivities. Please RSVP to Janelle


Advent Adult Forum: Longing for Home

Join Rev. Nick and Janelle on December 11 and 18 as they host an Advent forum series exploring our place in this world and our sense of longing for home and belonging. This Sunday, we welcome GreenRoots from Chelsea. On December 18, we welcome the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.


Deadlines of Note Regarding Year-End

December 31 is approaching and we want you to be aware of various processing deadlines for check requests, pledge payments, and other gifts. If you don’t find the answer to your question below, please be in touch with Maryann Badejo, Epiphany’s Financial Administrator, or Treasurers Jane White or Bill Brickman.

In order to receive proper tax credit, gifts and pledge payments must be postmarked (if mailed), received in the plate or in the office (if hand delivered), received in Epiphany’s investment account (if a gift of appreciated stock), or input from home via Realm by December 31 to be recorded as a 2022 gift. If you wish, 2022 pledge payments made after these deadlines can still be applied as a “prior year pledge payment” until the end of January 2023. 

Broker instructions for transferring gifts of securities are available from Kathryn in the parish office, Maryann, Jane, or Bill

To allow us to close the financial year efficiently, parish leaders and staff should aim to submit check requests for reimbursement or payment of bills by December 15. We will make every effort to process the rare expense that requires 2022 accounting after December 15. As always, check request forms are available in the office and at A list of account numbers and titles is available in both places for your convenience in completing check requests.

Please note as well that the office will be closed during the week of December 26 to allow the staff a well-deserved break. However, we will be checking the locked mailboxes outside the Hadley Hall and parish office doors for material that needs to be processed that week.

If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to be in touch with Maryann, Jane or Bill. We are grateful for your ongoing support for Epiphany and extend our warmest wishes for a peaceful and holy Advent and Christmas season.


Strength for the Holidays: December 13

On Tuesday, December 13 at 7:00 pm in Hadley Hall, we invite you to "Strength for the Holidays: An Evening Presentation of Loss and Resilience," led by the Reverend Bob Davidson, Epiphany's Assisting Priest and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Hospice Chaplain. During this time of festive holiday celebrations, many struggle with the absence of loved ones. All are welcome to learn more about coping tools and ways to be present to loss and memories of happier times. Members of the public are welcome. 

Christmas Pageant Sign-Up

Sign Your Child Up for the Pageant!

Our Christmas pageant will be on Christmas Eve at the 4:00 pm worship service. All children are welcome to take part! We hold rehearsals at 11:15 am following worship on Sundays in December. You may still participate if you cannot make rehearsal! Please email Bryn to let her know your schedule and we will find a work-around. Please click here to sign your child up to participate in the pageant and to indicate their preferred role. 


Candlelight Festival of Lessons & Carols

All are welcome on Sunday, December 18 at 5:00 pm for Epiphany's annual Candlelight Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. A holiday favorite, this service of scripture and music centers on the mystery of the Incarnation. Sung by the Parish Choir and Choristers, this service also features the Triton Brass Quintet.  


Lessons & Carols Reception

Sign Up to Help with Reception

Following our service of Lessons & Carols on Sunday, December 18, all are invited to festive reception! Please click here to sign-up to help. 


Christmas Worship at Epiphany

Celebrate our Savior’s birth with Christmas worship at Parish of the Epiphany! On Christmas Eve on Saturday, December 24, we will offer three services: a family service with our children’s pageant at 4:00 pm, as well as Choral Eucharists at 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm. (Please note that the 10:00 pm service will include incense.) On Sunday, December 25, join us at 10:00 am on Christmas Day for a service of Holy Communion. 


January Birthdays

Do you have a birthday or anniversary during the month of January that you would like remembered in 3 Crowns and the Sunday bulletin? If so, please send the details to Kathryn in the parish office by Monday, December 19. 


Longing for Home:
The Rawan Family's Journey


Aisha Rawan, born November 14, is the first US citizen in the family
(Photo courtesy of the Rev Bob Davidson)

On December 4, Rev Nick Myers introduced our Advent series, “Longing for Home,” focused on Afghan resettlement, Chelsea’s GreenRoots, and American Friends of the Diocese of Jerusalem.

Within our Winchester Interfaith Resettlement Partnership (WIRP), Roz Nazarro co-heads the Housing group. Despite the challenges of housing a family of seven in the Winchester area, the Rawans moved to Arlington, near public transit, shops, and their cousins. Generous WIRP members furnished the new home, and the family has made the space their own—with cushions and mattresses replacing our Western dining room table and bunk beds—warmly welcoming guests and family.

Joan O’Connor, a key member of WIRP’s Healthcare group, helped find pro bono dental care, a first  for the family. One bonus was the dentist’s more accurate estimate of the middle child’s age, and Sapna is thriving in kindergarten.

As Rev. Nick noted, Jesus himself was a child refugee making a home in a strange land; Roz stressed that for the Rawans, the US is like a different planet. Yet, supported not just by a village but by “a whole county” of faith communities, they have begun making the new home they long for through their resilience and powerful family bonds.

Help with Fellowship Hour This Winter

Sign Up to Help with Fellowship Hour

We are looking forward to fellowship hours on Sundays in December and January, and would greatly appreciate your help! Please click on the button above to contribute a baked good, a gluten-free snack, fresh fruit, or your help with serving and clean-up. 


Advent Giving Tree Is Here

Advent is here and the Giving Trees are back in church with opportunities to join in Epiphany’s gift ministry. One is at the back of Hadley Hall and one in front of the church nave. The trees are covered with tags describing suggested donations to be made to organizations supported by Mission & Outreach. Please take tags from the trees and follow the instructions to make donations by the date indicated. In addition, the information on the tree tags appears below and you can simply make your donation, as described, without collecting a tag. Your prayerful support of our partners, and the families they serve, would be greatly appreciated during this Christmas giving season.

St. Luke’s/San Lucas Church, Chelsea
Purchase a $20 Target gift card to be given to a child at the St. Luke’s Christmas Eve service. Put all cards to be donated into an envelope labeled “St. Luke’s” and place in the gift card collection box in the Epiphany office by Wednesday, 12/21.

Council of Social Concern, Woburn:
Purchase gift cards (value $10 to $100) from Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Gamestop, Amazon, Visa, or Mastercard. Note the value on the cards and put them in the gift card collection box in the Epiphany Office. Cards returned by Thursday, 12/8 will be donated to individual families to buy Christmas gifts. Late cards will go to the Children’s Center classrooms.

St. Stephen’s Youth Program, South End Boston:
Purchase a $20 Target gift card to be given to a child at the St. Stephen’s Christmas Eve service. Put each gift card in a signed Christmas card with “St. Stephen’s” on the envelope and place in the gift card collection box in the Epiphany office by Wednesday, 12/21.

Blackstone School Library, South End: 
Order requested children’s books from a wish list supported by Bookends in Winchester here.Bring the books to Hadley Hall and a volunteer will deliver them to the Library, or just order a book and a volunteer will bring any books not picked up to Blackstone.

El Hogar Ministries, Honduras: Donate directly to El Hogar here.

Haiti Nursing Foundation: Donate directly to the Haiti Nursing Foundation here

Mosaic: Interfaith Youth Action (formerly Kids 4 Peace Boston): 
Donate directly here.

Quest Adventures, Boston: Donate directly to Quest here.

Network for Social Justice, Winchester: 
Donate directly here.

American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem: Donate directly here.


This Week's Calendar

Click here to access the complete parish calendar.

Thursday, December 8

5:30pm Men's Group via Zoom 
7:00pm Healing Prayer via Zoom

7:30pm Parish Choir Rehearsal in the Upper Parish Hall 

9:00pm Compline via Zoom 

Saturday, December 10

9:00am Advent Quiet Day in the Chapel, Sanctuary, and Hadley Hall 
4:00pm Gun Violence Vigil at Woburn United Methodist Church 
7:00pm Youth Christmas Movie Night in Hadley Hall 

Sunday, December 11

8:00am Holy Eucharist: Rite I in the Sanctuary 
9:00am Bible Study in the Suter Room

9:00am Fellowship Hour in Hadley Hall 

9:00am Parish Choir Warm-up in the Sanctuary

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

10:00am Church School in the Upper Parish Hall and Suter Room

11:15am Fellowship Hour in Hadley Hall
11:15am Longing for Home: Advent Adult Forum in Hadley Hall
11:15am Christmas Pageant Rehearsal in the Sanctuary 
11:15am Pageant Costuming in the Chapel

Monday, December 12

4:00pm Circle of Life Meeting via Zoom 
6:00pm AA Meeting in Hadley Hall 
7:30pm AA Meeting in Hadley Hall 

Tuesday, December 13

8:00am Holy Eucharist in the Chapel
8:30am Bible Study in the Suter Room

8:30am Employment Transition Group via Zoom

10:00am Staff Meeting in the Suter Room
1:00pm Epiphany Visitors Cookie Tin Assembly in Hadley Hall

1:00pm Pastoral Care Meeting in the Rector's Study 
7:00pm Strength for the Holidays: A Presentation on Loss and Resilience in Hadley Hall 

7:00pm Stephen Ministries Meeting in the Chapel 

Wednesday, December 14

5:15pm Choristers Rehearsal in the Upper Parish Hall 
6:15pm Optional Extra Choristers Rehearsal in the Upper Parish Hall 
7:30pm Vestry Meeting in the Chapel 

Thursday, December 15

5:30pm Men's Group via Zoom 
7:00pm Healing Prayer via Zoom

7:30pm Parish Choir Rehearsal in the Upper Parish Hall 

9:00pm Compline via Zoom 


For More Information

For pastoral emergencies, please contact Rev. Nick 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