October 13, 2022

Beauty & Stillness

Be still, then, and know that I am God  (Psalm 46:11a)

I very much enjoyed Rev. Nick’s lecture on Bach this past Sunday, October 9 during the Forum after church. While connecting the dots for us on the very strong connection between Bach and the teachings of Martin Luther, the topic of beauty was discussed. Though we were focused on how Bach might see beauty in music, and how it affected his approach to composing, it was Nick’s comments on how Luther might describe music and beauty that caught my attention. The thought is that music is a “beautiful gift” from our maker, not something simply made by humans, but rather something already implanted in all nature, and in our own nature. For me, an obvious example of this is watching a baby or very young child respond to music, sounds, rhythm; you’ve likely experienced this before. Not yet old enough to speak or communicate, these young beings already respond to the rhythm and tones present in music.

Further, Nick explained that while a structure of order was crucial to Bach, he would also have felt that the more variation, complexity, and the fuller the harmonic invention (or innovation) within that structure, the ‘more’ beautiful something would be. All of this, of course, a response returned to the Glory of God (as he signed the end of every composition, S.D.G. or Soli Deo Gloria) in thanks for the original gift. Another example of this is the song of birds. They are born with this gift, no training required! And the complexity and variety of various species, as well as the variety of calls for differing purposes from the same bird, are really astounding. The organist and composer Olivier Messiaen was fascinated by this, and spent much time observing and writing down various bird songs. They are included in many of his organ compositions.

These topics reminded me of a recent experience: on Sunday, October 2, I had the pleasure of hosting “An Evening Retreat of Self Care” at Epiphany for the Boston Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. The 90-minute retreat was led by four clinicians: Janet Kessenich, Cathy Meyer, Karen Aalto, and our good friend Rev. Brett Johnson. Though not what the chapter had hoped for in terms of attendance, I selfishly felt lucky that there were only four others of us in attendance. The evening included guided meditation, a walking meditation, a crystal bowl sound bath, and a sound vibration meditation with tuning forks. It was this tuning fork work that struck me the most; these forks are supposedly tuned to the various frequencies inherent in the universe (AUM, new moon, etc.), and in various combinations are placed near and even on the body.  What intrigued me most was that certain frequencies/overtones resonated so much more for me than others, obviously connecting with something inherent in my very being.

My wife, Kathy, was able to attend the event with me. Afterward, she stated that she hadn’t been that still and focused for 90-minutes straight in a very long time! I had to agree. More profoundly, I realized at the end of the following day that I was still feeling the positive effects — I was calm, grounded, not stressed by any of the happenings of the day. Martin Luther might say that beauty draws us into the heart of the Creator, connecting us to both the order and the diversity of the Holy Trinity, and to grace. At some point, I will certainly be looking further into this tuning fork work (!) but, in the meantime, I am grateful for all of the various opportunities for experiencing beauty, and a bit of stillness.

Jeremy Bruns 

Stewardship: Practical and Spiritual

Stewardship is defined as caring for something entrusted to one’s care. And during stewardship season, we hear about the importance of pledging and the different reasons people might pledge: as a way to give thanks; to demonstrate commitment; to “do their part” to support the budget — the programs, the building, and the grounds. And pledging is important, in part because it allows our leaders to plan and operate the church on a sound financial basis. 

However, while these are all important practical reasons to pledge, there is perhaps an even more important spiritual reason to pledge — it is a way to grow deeper in relationship with God and Christ and deeper in our relationships to each other. And that is what our campaign — Living Faith and Life Together — is all about. Giving because you want to, in the way God has given to each of us.

While the stewardship campaign is in the fall, acting out our role as stewards is truly an all year, daily activity. Stewardship is a way of life that calls us to make God the priority in all things. As Christians, we strive to be disciples of Christ. And being a disciple is connected to discipline. And that is one way that pledging is spiritual; the discipline of regularly giving to God and being part of what God wants to, and can, do through the people and their resources in his church. By pledging, we remind ourselves throughout the year that the resources we have — be they great or smaller — are really from God and are God’s. Pledging can also help us be spiritual everyday; it is a regular, planned, repeated, palpable practice of our faith and its spirituality and our commitment and connection to God. And our generosity can shape us and our outlook on the world and make the world a better place.

As Christ says “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) By pledging, we are showing that our heart is with Christ, seeking to do his good work. This is another way pledging is spiritual; we are walking in Christ’s way to give of ourselves for the growth of Christ’s community and to grow closer to and more Christ-like.

One of my favorite choral anthems is from Mark A. Miller (b. 1967) :

I believe in the sun, even when it’s not shining.
I believe in love, even when I don’t feel it.
I believe in God, even when God is silent.   

We believe that together, with everyone’s generous help and commitment, we can do more together and Living Faith and Life Together will extend and grow our community in Christ. What do you believe? How are you spiritual? Will you be spiritual and pledge?

Jonathan Foot, Stewardship Committee member

Stewardship Ingathering & Celebration

This Sunday, October 16, we will celebrate the ingathering of our pledges at all three services. 

A month ago, we kicked off our Living Faith & Life Together Campaign, asking each of us to join in supporting the ministry and vision of our parish by pledging our financial contribution for 2023. Our campaign goal is to increase overall pledges by 15.7% to $1.2 million and to increase the total number of pledges by 38 from 212 to 250. The increase will help support ministries and initiatives such as Midweek, Word & Table and welcoming Janelle Hiroshige as our Associate for Youth and Community Partnerships.  

As of Tuesday, October 11, pledges total $448,326 which represent pledges from 78 families, including 8 new pledges and an aggregate 5.2% increase from those who have submitted their pledge.

If you have not yet submitted your pledge, please complete it online this week or bring your pledge card on Sunday to bring to the altar when you come to receive Communion. For those who have pledged already, there will be cards available at the back of the church so that you can participate in physically presenting your pledge at the offering.

After Communion, we will offer a prayer of thanks and for guidance in our ministry and life together.

Join us in Hadley Hall and the Cloister Garden for Ciderfest to celebrate our commitment to moving forward in living our faith and life together.


8th Annual Ciderfest

Sign Up to Provide Food and Decorations!

On Sunday, October 16 at 11:15 am, immediately following the 10:00 am Holy Eucharist, we invite you to our eighth annual Ciderfest! Celebrate fall with Epiphany friends, and enjoy fresh apple cider donuts and cider. We hope you will join us for this beloved Epiphany tradition! 


Bach Series Continues This Sunday

Join Rev. Nick and Jeremy Bruns as they lead a three-part series on the spirituality and music of Johann Sebastian Bach. This forum will be an exploration of the personal faith of Bach through a combination of conversation, audio excerpts, and musical performance of organ and vocal pieces. Join us on Sundays, October 16 and 23 after the 10:00 am service for this exciting adult forum series. This offering will not be livestreamed.


Word & Table Service This Sunday

Join us this Sunday, October 16 at 5:00 pm for our next Word & Table service in Hadley Hall. This casual, contemporary, and creative service will be based on our familiar Episcopal liturgy as we explore an ancient and modern worship experience. 


Midweek @ Epiphany on October 19

Our next Midweek @ Epiphany is this Wednesday, October 19. Each Midweek begins at 6:15 with dinner and fellowship, followed by formation opportunities for adults, youth, and children. Dinner on October 19 will be a fall feast featuring corn chowder, roast pork, rice pilaf, salad, pizza, and a s'mores bar. 


Bereavement Group Starting October 20

Beginning on Thursday, October 20 from 3:00 - 4:30 pm, Susan Bailey and Carol Delaney will be leading a Bereavement Support Group. We will meet in the Chapel. The group will run six consecutive Thursdays, skipping Thanksgiving. Please contact Susan Bailey at 781-570-9196 or bailey13@comcast.net if you are interested.  


Christmas Fair on November 19:
How Can You Help?

There are still six weeks to prepare for our Christmas Fair. How can you help? The Silent Auction is a significant part of the fair raising many thousand dollars. They are also a great way to start your holiday shopping. Can you donate tickets to a sporting or cultural event? Do you have a unique skill or talent you can share? How about putting together a basket? Join with friends and come up with your own theme — maybe the best of your hometown, or share a love of cooking, gardening, sports. Donations should be received by Sunday, November 6 and should include a description of contents and value. Contact Sara Post with any questions or donations.


Mission & Outreach Fall Discernment

Calling everyone who has been involved, who is currently involved, and who would like to be involved in Mission & Outreach. On Sunday, October 23 from 11:30 am - 3:00 pm, we will be having a fall discernment day where we can reflect on where we have been and where we would like to go together as a parish family. If you are thinking about attending, please contact Janelle


Epiphany Tunnels/Clock Tower Spooky
Ice Cream Party

It has been a rite of passage over generations for youth to explore the tunnels and clock tower at Epiphany. Join us on Sunday, October 23 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm for some fun and ice cream! Please RSVP to Janelle.


Help with Fellowship Hour in October

Sign Up to Help with Fellowship Hour!

We are looking forward to fellowship hours on Sundays in October, 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. 


El Hogar Film Premiere

You are invited to attend the premiere showing of a new El Hogar documentary on Saturday, October 29 at 6:30 pm at Epiphany. "Esperanza – Hope in Honduras" is a beautiful and poignant film that masterfully captures the challenges El Hogar students and their families face. Produced and created by Honduran filmmakers, the film tells the story of two El Hogar students and their families showing their everyday resiliency and courage and the hope they experience at El Hogar.

Epiphany has had a long and close relationship with El Hogar over the past 25 years. We’ve sent over one hundred teens and adults to visit El Hogar and be transformed by what they experienced there. El Hogar, which provides an integral education from first to twelfth grade, and a loving home to children and youth from vulnerable situations in Honduras, is reopening its doors in 2023 for visiting teams!

Shown on the big screen in Hadley Hall, we will provide popcorn, snacks, and beverages. The whole event will last about one hour. The event isn’t a fundraiser, although there will be opportunities to learn more and get involved as you wish. All are welcome! Click to view the trailer.


Baptism Opportunity on November 6

Our next opportunity for baptism will be Sunday, November 6. If you are interested in being baptized or having your child baptized at Epiphany, please contact Rev. Nick


Choral Requiem for All Souls' Day

On Sunday, November 6 at 5:00 pm in the Sanctuary, we invite you to a choral requiem for All Souls’ Day. Remember the souls of the faithful departed in this service sung by the Parish Choir, featuring the beloved setting by Gabriel Fauré. 


Time to Make Apple Pies

Sign Up to Make Apple Pies!

Please sign up to make our famous and delicious apple pies on Friday, November 11. Many hands make light work!


This Week's Calendar

Click here to access the complete parish calendar.

Thursday, October 13

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 

Sunday, October 16 

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

9:00am Fellowship Hour in Hadley Hall and the Cloister Garden 

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 the Suter Room

11:15am Ciderfest in Hadley Hall and the Cloister Garden

11:15am Bach Series in the Sanctuary
5:00pm Word & Table in Clark Hall 

Monday, October 17

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

Tuesday, October 18

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
7:00pm Gifts and Memorials Committee Meeting in the Rector's Study 
7:00pm Mission and Outreach Committee Meeting in the Suter Room

Wednesday, October 19

11:00am Prayer and Communion Service at The Gables at Winchester 
5:15pm Choristers Rehearsal in the Upper Parish Hall 
6:15pm Midweek @ Epiphany in Clark Hall, Cloister Garden, and Upper Parish Hall 

7:30pm Vestry Meeting in the Chapel 

Thursday, October 20 

3:00pm Bereavement Group in the Chapel 
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