June 29, 2023

Idle and Blessed

I love Summer Reading. I love taking my two kids to the public library to sign up for the Summer Reading Program, and get them their little check-box charts and free bookmarks. And I really love borrowing books–lots of books–and crafting my own pile of summer reads.

So far, I’ve got a solid stack. I have How to Hide an Empire as my history book; and The Emotional Lives of Teenagers as my parenting book. I’ve got Tales of Falling and Flying as my short story collection, and The Rent Collector as my “outside my field of view” book. I have a Brother Caedfel for my gentle mystery. I’m still in need of something great from the fantasy genre (taking recommendations!). And for ministry, I have The Art of Gathering (thinking Midweek 23-24’) and Professional Christian

I am ready: ready to get only part way through this stack, and end the summer wondering why long lazy days sitting on a swing with a book aren’t quite as numerous as Summer Reading blogs or displays at libraries and bookstores would make us think.

Knowing I won't finish my stack somehow doesn't lessen my pleasure in the planning and borrowing. Same goes for my other Summer Bucket List items: listen to ocean; grow garden; attend outdoor concert; pick berries; learn to serve fresh greens so kiddo will eat them. 

I was meditating on the whole idea of summer goals this week while reading poet Mary Oliver's lovely “The Summer Day.” She ends with these inspiring words:

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

I hope in the next weeks, you are idle and blessed; that you stroll in fields, touch grass, and listen to water move. That your summer reading pile gives you pleasure and never pressure. That your New England soul soaks in long hours of light. And I hope that you can feel all of these things–these summer moments, whether grabbed here and there, or luxuriated in–as prayers.




Youth Hut Hike a Great Success

The youth had an awesome backpacking trip into the White Mountains this week. Despite a bit of rain, their spirits were high. Thank you to Janelle, Ellen W, and John J for being their fearless leaders. And we wish Ellen and John both happy birthdays--these dedicated mentors both celebrated while in the mountains with our kids. What dedication!

Summer Choir: Every Sunday at 9am

The Summer Choir assists in leading the music at our 10am 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 jbruns@3crowns.org with any questions.

Help Support B-SAFE at Epiphany

Summer is here and our B-SAFE (the Summer Program run by St. Stephen's Youth Programs) Field Day and Magic Show is just about a month away! Around 80 young people and staff will come to Winchester for a morning of magic and lunch at Epiphany and an afternoon of splashing, running and playing games at Shannon Beach on Mystic Lake. I need all of the help I can get to pull this off- volunteers, food donations and gift cards. Please read below to see where you might want to pitch in...

1. For Friday, July 28 when the kids come to us, we will need food donations for lunch and many volunteers to make sure everything runs smoothly and the kids and staff feel welcome and have a great time.

Sign up here to donate food for the lunch

Sign up here to volunteer to help at Epiphany or at the lake

2. We will provide gift cards for those in the SSYP community who experience food insecurity. In past summers we have supplied bags of groceries but recently we have shifted to providing gift cards to give recipients more autonomy to buy exactly what they need for their families. I am looking for cards in $25 and $50 amounts from either Stop and Shop or Target (both are accessible for our families). I hope to be able to give each family $50.

Sign up here to donate gift cards (scroll to the bottom of the list)

3. We are invited to come into SSYP (in the South End of Boston) and assist our parent chefs with preparing, serving and cleaning up lunch. We do not have to plan menus or buy food as in the past. I have signed up during the week of July 24 and invite you to join me (or you can volunteer any day during any of the 5 weeks of program). It's a great way to meet some kids and staff before they come out to Winchester. I'm guessing the time frame will be in the 10-2 range. We can carpool if there is interest.

Sign up here to help at St. Stephen's in the South End.

Thank you so much for all of the many ways you have and will support our partnership with SSYP and the B-SAFE Summer Program! Please reach out with any questions. 

Betsey Walsh


Christmas Fair 2023

It’s never too early to start planning for the Epiphany Christmas Fair on Saturday, November 18. We need and appreciate donations, especially homemade items.

If you’re making jams or jellies this summer, please make a few extra jars for the bakery table. Let Sara Post (snsp17@gmail.com) know what you are donating.

If you like to knit or do crafts, please check with Alison Taber (alison.taber123@gmail.com) or Jeanni Pendergrass (jepen@mac.com) about what they need for the knits and crafts table.

We’ll have a box outside Hadley Hall now for your old Christmas cards – so the crafters can make Christmas gift cards from the old cards.

While you’re doing spring-summer cleaning, you may find items for the jewelry table or white elephant sale. Please box them up now with a note about what they’re worth, so you can bring the box to church in the fall.

The kids room at the fair would welcome children’s books. We’ll have a box outside Hadley Hall for the books after Labor Day. Books which do not sell at the fair are donated to St. Stephen’s Church or More Than Words.

During your travels this summer, if you find something or have a great idea for a silent auction item, please let Leslie Aitken (lja315@gmail.com) know about it.

If you have any other ideas for the Christmas Fair, please send an email note to Linda Brown (mlindabrow@aol.com) or Nick Candee (nickcandee@aol.com).


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, June 29

12:00pm Rotary in Hadley Hall

5:00pm 4th Soil in the Upper Parish Hall

5:30pm Men's Group via Zoom 

9:00pm Compline via Zoom 

Friday, June 30

9:00am Yoga with Pam in Hadley Hall

Sunday, July 2

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

9:45am Nursery Care Available (Ages 0-3) in the Dewart Room 

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

11:15am Fellowship Hour in Hadley Hall 

Monday, July 3

5:00pm Prayer Team Meeting via Zoom

6:00pm AA Meeting in Hadley Hall  

7:30pm AA Meeting in Hadley Hall  

Tuesday, July 4

Parish Office Closed for Independence Day

Thursday, July 6

5:30pm Men's Group via Zoom 

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