January 6, 2022

Set Me as a Seal

As I was organizing, cleaning out a few things, and packing for our move to New York, I came across a piece of music that David McSweeney and Brett Johnson introduced me to a few years ago. In fact, the choir sang this piece as part of Thomas’ last service at Epiphany. The beautiful text comes from the Song of Solomon: “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death. Many waters cannot quench love; neither can the floods drown it.”


I have found these words and this music going through my head these past few days as I prepare to leave Epiphany. When I arrived over four and a half years ago, I was sure that I would be just an interim director of music. My plan was to be on my way after a few months. What I didn’t know is that all of you would embrace me so warmly. Like many others who walk through our doors, I have felt the joy of a loving Christian community here at Parish of the Epiphany. Know that there is a place in my heart that carries all of you with me as I begin my next phase of life in Manhattan. I certainly take many wonderful memories with me.

I have enjoyed the music, the worship, and the friendships that I have had here. I have appreciated the choir's dedication and talent as they make beautiful music Sunday after Sunday. I have loved the energy and the excitement of children, been amazed by our talented youth, and enjoyed the camaraderie of a wonderful staff. As a church you have supported me, challenged me, taught me, and made me grow as a person. For that I am truly grateful. I look forward to visiting when I am back in Boston, and when I do, I fully expect to be amazed by the new ways Epiphany continues to grow and make a difference in the world. I can't wait to see what God has in store for all of us.

With love and gratitude,

Updated Food & Beverage Covid Protocols

Dear Epiphany family,

As we enter this new year, you all remain in my prayers as I give thanks for the gift of this life together and pray for our shared health and wholeness in the coming days. With the continued surge of Covid cases due to the Omicron variant, we are changing our practice of serving food and beverage on Sunday mornings at the time of fellowship following services. At this time, we will refrain from offering food and beverage at indoor parish events. This is only a temporary decision as we make our way through the height of this surge.

This means that our festive farewell reception for Craig Benner will not take place this coming Sunday as planned. Rather, we will be offering our prayers, thanksgivings, and gratitude to Craig and Darren during the 10:00 am liturgy, which will be livestreamed. After the service you are invited to greet Craig outside the tower doors in the forecourt area. While this is not ideal, we believe it is the best option. I hope that you will join me in giving thanks for Craig by joining this Sunday’s services, sending in a card to the parish offices that we will deliver to Craig and Darren’s new address, or by making a gift to the Music Fund in honor of Craig’s ministry. 

This Sunday, on the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, we will baptize a little one, bid farewell to our beloved Craig, and renew our baptismal commitments in prayer and song. While these remain challenging days for many, we also stay rooted in the hope that is ours in Christ. I look forward to this year together and a time of renewal and rebuilding. And while we cannot control how this path unfolds before us, we can choose how we walk this journey together. I am grateful to call you a fellow companion on the way. Let us continue to hold on to one another, keeping each other in prayer, and staying rooted in the faith, hope, and love that God offers us.

In Christ,
Rev. Nick  


Brett Johnson Ordination on January 8

Beloved Siblings in Christ,

I am humbled and excited to invite you to attend virtually my ordination to the priesthood on Saturday, January 8 at 10:00 am. Please gather with me via Zoom (Meeting ID: 879 4702 9545) or Facebook; because of COVID restrictions, there are strict limits to be in person in the sanctuary in Danvers, where I have been serving for the last two and a half years. I am honored that Reverend Nick Myers will be one of my presenters and Reverend Bethany Myers will serve as Deacon and Bishop’s Chaplain throughout the service. They will represent you in person, but you all will be in my heart.

Although I felt called when I was a child, truly, it was at Epiphany that God began to unfold the path, one step at a time, first in lay leadership, then in chaplaincy training and work, and finally with my call to the priesthood. You supported me, trained me, equipped me (Eph. 4:12), and have prayed with and for me. You were my sponsoring parish and have been home for me and Dave since 2012. I do love you, so, and am grateful every day for you.

The link for joining the service and for downloading the bulletin will be found here.

Martin Smith once said that for some, ordination is another step in their on-going conversion. This has been true, for me, as I am in awe and wonder at what God is doing in my life. I ask your continued prayers as I take this next commitment to serve God. Prayer is a sacred privilege; I am honored by your prayers! Thank you, dear friends!

In faith,
Brett Johnson


Farewell & Gift for Craig Benner

During the 10:00 am service on January 9, we will give thanks and celebrate Craig Benner’s ministry among us. Please join us to wish Craig and Darren well as they head for New York City. We have plans for a personal gift as well as a contribution to the Music Fund in Craig’s honor. This fund, supported largely by memorial gifts, is made available to the Director of Music to fund music-related projects that might not otherwise be possible within Epiphany’s operating budget. We hope to replenish the fund for the use of Craig’s successors, in order to honor how Craig has healed and replenished us when he arrived at Epiphany nearly five years ago.

Contributions in Craig’s honor can be made by check, payable to Parish of the Epiphany (Memo: “Music Fund: Craig Benner”) or online (select music fund and enter “Craig Benner” in the memo box). Cards and notes are also welcome and can be left in the office. 


Church School Resumes January 9: 
Zoom or In-Person!

Church School resumes on Sunday, January 9. Families may choose between in-person Church School in Upper Parish Hall at 10:00 am; or a Zoom Church School lesson with Bryn from 9:00 to 9:20 am. The Zoom and In-Person lessons will be the same (we're celebrating Epiphany and the three wise men!). All children aged preschool through 5th grade, including visitors, are very welcome to join us in either format, for a time of storytelling, art, and community. The Zoom link will be provided in Friday's Family Newsletter. Well-fitting masks are required for all in-person participants. Please note that all children at in-person Church School will return to their families in worship before Communion; there is no "extended time" option. Please email our Director of Children's Ministry, Bryn Hollenbeck, for more information.


Middle and High School Youth Groups

Beginning this Sunday, January 9, Middle and High School youth groups will be starting up again! Both groups will meet in the Garrett (at the top of the stairs) at the following times:

High School (grades 9-12): 12:00 pm — 1:00 pm
Middle School (grades 6-8): 5:30 pm 6:30 pm

All participants will remain masked while indoors. For information on how to participate virtually, or if you would like to join the Youth Ministry team as a volunteer, please reach out to Eva Dalzell.


Offering Envelopes Available This Sunday

Offering envelopes for the coming year will be available in the narthex at church this Sunday at both services. Please contact Peggy Roll with questions.


Bring Christmas Cards to the Parish Office!

Don't discard your Christmas cards! Please bring them to the parish office for parishioner Alison Taber to make gift tags for the Christmas Fair craft table and Epiphany Visitors cookie tins. Drop cards off Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. Thank you!


Remembering Those Who Have Died

Submit Your Memorial Online

During the first 14 months of the pandemic, we were saddened to not be able to gather physically for worship together as the Parish of the Epiphany family. And sadly, while we were apart, we lost some of this family and were unable to grieve and remember them together. On Sunday, January 30 at our Annual Meeting Sunday, we will remember those parishioners who have died over the past two years. In addition to listing their names, we would like to include something unique about each person: special interest, hobby, passion, or gift.

Please click on the button above to fill out our online form. We must have the information no later than Tuesday, January 18 so that we can include it as part of the service bulletin on January 30.


Giving Tree Gratitude

Despite the uncertainties of the pandemic, Epiphany parishioners again wholeheartedly supported our partners and preferred charitable organizations with generous gifts suggested by the Advent Giving Tree. As a community we provided: 

  • 76 Target gift cards for the children at St. Stephen's in the South End
  • 18 books requested by the theater teacher for the Blackstone School library
  • A car trunk filled with toiletries for St. Luke's Food Pantry in Chelsea
  • About $1000 in gift cards for the Woburn Council of Social Concern
  • Individual donations to organizations supported by Mission & Outreach

Those who received our gifts are most grateful for our support this Christmas. The Mission & Outreach Committee is also grateful for the love that lives in our parish and supports the work we do in the world.


Epiphany Actively Involved with Interfaith
Resettlement Efforts

Since the harrowing evacuation of thousands of Afghan families and individuals to safe havens in the United States, refugee organizations have been searching for local communities to sponsor families. Hearing this plea to place nearly one thousand Afghan evacuees in Massachusetts, faith communities in Winchester began to organize in early fall to be ready to receive families here.

Seven congregations have formed the Winchester Interfaith Resettlement Partnership (WIFP) which is now conducting the first volunteer training and orientation on Thursday, January 13, 6:30—8:00 pm in Hadley Hall at Epiphany.

Assisting Priest, Rev. Bob Davidson, is the convener of the Partnership and is actively asking for Epiphany volunteers who wish to attend this training to contact him. Volunteers will be trained to work alongside existing organizations who currently sponsor Afghan families. There will also be opportunities to build the capacity for our Winchester Interfaith Resettlement Partnership to welcome our own Afghan evacuees within the next six months as we locate housing, furniture, and other family support.

For more information, please reach Rev. Davidson at frbobdav@msn.com or 970-222-2390.


Liturgical Change January 16

Our 8:00 am liturgy will return to a Rite I traditional language service on January 16. While this is a return to previous practice, it is also a shift away from our practices during the pandemic. The 10:00 am service will remain a contemporary language service.


Epiphany Mini-Courses:
January 16 — February 20

Join us after the 10:00 am Sunday service for multiple formation offerings during the season of Epiphany. We will have an Episcopal 101 course that is great for newcomers and longtime Episcopalians alike, a "Starring Jesus" course focused on faith and film, and a course on "The Practice of Prayer.”


Contemplative Book Discussion Group

Join us via Zoom on Thursdays at 7:30 pm January 20 through February 24 for a contemplative book discussion on Breathing Underwater by Richard Rohr. Please contact Sandy LaPerche with any questions.  


Midwinter Candlemas & Cocoa January 30

On Sunday, January 30 from 4:30 - 6:00 pm, join us the evening of our Annual Meeting for Midwinter Candlemas and Cocoa! Enjoy community, cookies, and hot cocoa at this all-parish gathering in the Cloister Garden. 


Midweek Resumes in February

Please note that Midweek @ Epiphany is on hiatus during the month of January and will resume in February! Stay tuned for more information. 


This Week's Calendar

Click here to access the complete parish calendar.

Thursday, January 6

1:00pm Advent Lectio via Zoom
5:30pm Men's Group via Zoom 

7:00pm Healing Prayer via Zoom 
7:30pm Parish Choir Farewell to Craig Benner via Zoom
9:00pm Compline via Zoom 

Sunday, January 9

8:00 am Holy Eucharist in the Sanctuary
9:00am Bible Study in the Suter Room 
9:00am Fellowship Hour in Hadley Hall 
9:00am Zoom Church School Lesson via Zoom
10:00am Holy Eucharist in the Sanctuary, Hadley Hall, and via YouTube 
10:00am Church School in the Upper Parish Hall 

11:15am Fellowship Hour Hour in Hadley Hall 

12:00pm High School Youth Group in the Garrett
5:30pm Middle School Youth Group in the Garrett

Monday, January 10

All Day Annual Reports Due
6:00pm AA Meeting in Hadley Hall
7:30pm AA Meeting in Hadley Hall

Tuesday, January 11

9:30am Staff Meeting in the Suter Room 
1:00pm Epiphany Visitors Meeting in Hadley Hall 
4:00pm Circle of Life via Zoom 
7:00pm Stephen Ministries Meeting in the Chapel

Wednesday, January 12

7:00pm Sacred Ground Meeting in the Suter Room

Thursday, January 13

5:30pm Men's Group via Zoom 

6:30pm Training for Resettlement of Afghan Evacuees in Hadley Hall 
7:00pm Healing Prayer via Zoom 
7:30pm Parish Choir Section Leaders Rehearsal in the Sanctuary 
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