November 24, 2022

A Story for Each One of Us

I have two big boxes full of Christmas story books—curated over forty years—and the day in late November that I drag them from the basement storage closet up to our living room is one of my favorite days of the year. A handful of these books tell the story of Jesus’s birth with scripture. The dozens of others? They invite me into the mystery of Christmas through poems and fables; through the eyes of mice and spruce trees; and even through cookies that come alive, or a strange green creature that discovers “Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” 

There are so many ways to tell the story of Jesus’s birth—perhaps the most famous story there is. Over the next four weeks, we’ll hear it in the holy scriptures read during worship and in the music we sing. We’ll see it as our spaces are adorned and transformed. We’ll experience the story as theater in our pageant. The children (in our aptly named Storymakers class) will explore this story in comics, in comedy, in art, and—if I feel brave—in stables made of graham crackers and sheep made of marshmallows and licorice. 

We say to our little ones, the mystery of Christmas is coming near and we don’t want to miss it
. Imagine all of the ways you’ll hear this story in the coming weeks. Imagine of all the ways you’ll tell it. Through old worn story books; through foods and scents; through traditions and decorations; through the giving of gifts and the visits of friends. This beautiful, mysterious story—of a Creator so loving that God became human to walk among us—is all around us. I hope and pray that as we enter Advent this Sunday, we will all feel this story in everything and everyone around us. Know that this story is for each one of us. It is our story.

With love,


Thanksgiving Office Closure

Please note that the parish office will be closed Wednesday, November 23 through Friday, November 25 in observance of Thanksgiving.

The following week, the office will be staffed by volunteers from 9:00 am — 1:00 pm on Monday, November 28 and Tuesday, November 29 while our parish administrator Kathryn is on vacation. Normal office hours will resume on Wednesday, November 30. 


Thank You to All Who Helped with
Epiphany's Christmas Fair

The 2022 Christmas Fair was a rousing success. Well over 500 people attended! Our bake table and cafe sold out! There were smiles all around. Among the many comments I heard: "This is the best fair"; "It feels so joyous here"; "It puts me in the holiday spirit." Besides welcoming everyone to our community, we made approximately $18,000!

None of this would have been possible without the support from everyone at Parish of the Epiphany. For all who donated, baked, crafted, knit, helped man a table, worked in the cafe, set up and cleaned up, posted yard signs and flyers, and invited so many friends and family to attend, thank you.


Advent Wreath-Making: November 27

This Sunday, November 27 at 11:15 am in Hadley Hall, celebrate the first Sunday in Advent with a special Advent wreath-making workshop! We will provide greenery, candles, and a wreath frame if you do not already have one. All are welcome! $10 suggested donation for materials.

A Call to Those Who Haven't Pledged Yet

Pledge Online

Thank you to those who have pledged to date. If you have not yet pledged, please submit your 2023 pledge as soon as you are able. To accompany the campaign progress graphic, we are sharing Dave McSweeney’s update in church this past Sunday.

As we turn our attention to Thanksgiving this week, and we express our gratitude for the many blessings in our lives, it will come as no surprise that I’m going to talk a little bit about Stewardship and the many blessings that Epiphany brings. 

Those of you who have seen me here at the lectern reflecting on Stewardship may recall that I often refer to an influential sermon given here many years ago by Bishop Gene Robinson on the topic of stewardship. 

His key points were:

  • Stewardship is about gratitude
  • We have so much to be thankful for, so what are we going to do about it
  • We ourselves are the greatest beneficiaries of our own giving
  • If we don’t have a lump in our throats when we write our checks, then we aren’t giving enough — that punchline is my personal favorite

I’m sure each of us has a story of how Epiphany has blessed our lives over the past years. When we joined Epiphany in 2012, I had no idea about all the things that are involved in making a church run well. I now realize its all of you. I am privileged to be your warden and grateful for your support.

If you have already submitted your pledge, thank you! I’m here to share that our current projections indicate we will end up about $150K short of our goal of $1.2 million.

Pledges make up over 90% of our annual budget, and the projected shortfall of $150K means we will need to make some difficult decisions in the coming weeks to have a balanced budget. The shortfall will lead to cuts in our programming and incremental staffing plans. Our finance committee has been working diligently on draft budget scenarios, and we had a great conversation about it at last Wednesday’s vestry meeting. Our plan is to approve a final budget at our next vestry meeting on December 14. Every pledge counts even more now, leading directly to less cuts in programs.

Some highlights of our 2023 plans are:

  • To maintain existing ministries and initiatives such as Midweek and our Word & Table Service
  • To fund the growth in our youth, Church School, and music programs
  • To improve our IT infrastructure
  • To cover increased costs related to inflationary pressures on property expenses and greater participation in our healthcare benefits
  • And finally to support a renewed culture of welcome and to create capacity and resources to enable small groups to help connect us to God and one another.

So dear friends, my hope is that those of you who usually make pledges at the end of the year will do so now if your financial situation allows, and for those of you who have never pledged, please consider doing so. Meeting our goal requires that all of us commit to our share of funding our life and ministry together.

After all, in the words of Bishop Gene Robinson, “We ourselves are the greatest beneficiaries of our own giving."


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. 


2022 Christmas Poinsettias & Music

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 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. 


Advent Adult Forum: Longing for Home

Join Rev. Nick and Janelle on December 4, 11, and 18 as they host an Advent forum series looking at what it means to long for home in this world. We will hear from our Refugee Resettlement team on their experiences, welcome GreenRoots from Chelsea, and partners from the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem as we explore our place in this world, our identities, and our sense of longing for home and belonging. 


Peter Sykes Harpsichord Concert

On Sunday, December 4 at 5:00 pm, all are invited to a harpsichord concert performed by Peter Sykes. One of the most distinguished and versatile keyboard artists performing today, Peter Sykes is on the music faculties of both Boston University and the Juilliard School of Music. The concert will feature the works of Sweelinck, Byrd, Peter Philips, Buxtehude, and Handel, played on Sykes's own 2005 Allan Winkler harpsichord that is patterned after a 1719 Carl Fleischer original from Hamburg. Admission is free; donations are gladly accepted. 


Advent Quiet Day: December 10

RSVP for Advent Quiet Day

Join Br. Sean Glenn from the Society of St. John the Evangelist on Saturday, December 10 for our annual Advent Quiet Day. Br. Sean will guide us through a time of prayer, shared reflections on the themes of listening, waiting, and seeking God's direction in times of transition, change, and confusion. Click on the button above to RSVP. 


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 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 Wishlist supported by Bookends in Winchester hereBring the books to Hadley Hall and a volunteer will deliver them to the Library.

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 to Mosaic here.

Quest Adventures, Boston: Donate directly to Quest here.

Network for Social Justice, Winchester: 
Donate directly to the Network for Social Justice here.


Volunteer Needed for New Role at Epiphany: Energy Manager

For Epiphany, reducing our emissions and saving energy are part of the legacy we must leave our children and grandchildren. And to help fulfil that legacy, we have developed a new role the Epiphany, “Energy Manager."

This person would be a liaison between the Property Committee and Creation Care and would be responsible for tracking the Parish’s monthly energy use and carbon emissions as well as making recommendations for savings. This role is crucial, but will only take about five hours per month.

The ideal person doesn’t need to be highly quantitative, but should be comfortable with spreadsheets and would and have a strong interest in reducing our energy consumption. If you think this might be you, and you’d like to learn more, email Josh Reynolds


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. 


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. 

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.  


This Week's Calendar

Click here to access the complete parish calendar.

Thursday, November 24

All Day Parish Office is Closed for Thanksgiving

Friday, November 25

All Day Parish Office is Closed for Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 27

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 & Advent Wreath-Making in Hadley Hall

Monday, November 28

6:00pm AA Meeting in Hadley Hall 
7:30pm AA Meeting in Hadley Hall 

7:30pm Sustainability and Creation Care Group Meeting in the Upper Parish Hall 

Tuesday, November 29

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

Wednesday, November 30

5:15pm Choristers Rehearsal in the Upper Parish Hall 
6:15pm Optional Extra Choristers Rehearsal in the Upper Parish Hall

Thursday, December 1 

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