September 21, 2023

An Invitation to Friendship

This weekend we go to camp: Barbara C. Harris Camp, in particular. We are very excited for this year's Parish Weekend Away. And, while we all cannot attend, it is good to know that we are bound together by the Spirit in all our gathering together.

Growing up, camp was a place of joy and laughter, fun and faith, but also touched by the familiar feeling of nervousness. I was nervous, wondering: Will people make fun of me? Will I be liked? Will I fit in? Meeting new people, going beyond the casual "hello," making friends is always a bit of a risk. Making friends asks something of us and that can be challenging. You likely know this from your place of work, your time at school, simply being a neighbor, and by being a part of Epiphany. Over the past few years we have focused on renewing our relationships here at Epiphany by simply being together. This year, we want to deepen our relationships with God and one another by making time and spaces for us to become friends. Friends? What does that have to do with church?

One of the last things Jesus says is this: I no longer call you servants; I call you friends. I think if we are understanding Jesus, he has told us that being friends has everything to do with church. Friends share their lives with one another. Friends are dependable and understanding. Friends value one another simply because they are—as who they are. Friends, Jesus tells us, love one another. In a world that makes it harder and harder to simply have friends and be friends, Jesus' invitation to friendship is no small thing. As humans, friendship is an antidote to loneliness. As Christians, friendship is an invitation into love—God's love.

This weekend, this year, I want to invite you deeper into friendship with God and friendship with one another. Our lives are bound together as the Body of Christ; yes, God's Spirit binds us together—it's just a given since our lives are held in the one true love of God. As the saying goes: you show me your friends, I'll show you your future. Knowing this, we can simply be who we are together, because, in Christ, we have a friend and our future with God and one another is certain. It's all love. Let our life together make it so.

Have a blessed weekend, friends,


Register Now for Faith Circles

Faith Circles are welcoming, trustworthy places where we open up to each other, share our hopes and fears, and explore our Christian faith and doubts in meaningful, transformative ways using Scripture and other resources and practices.

Faith Circles

  • Meet two times a month (October to June), and we ask you to commit to your group for that period of time.
  • Are small groups of 8-10 members, including trained co-leaders.
  • Are offered at a variety of times, days of the week, and locations.
  • Are a safe space to build relationship and explore faith through conversation, prayer, and sharing.
  • Welcome the sharing of doubts and wonderings, as well as our joys and sorrows.

    Sign up here. Questions? Contact Rev. Nick.


    Our New Bishop: Your Voice is Needed 

    As the Diocese of Massachusetts, we are in the process of seeking a new diocesan bishop. Bp. Alan Gates will retire towards the end of 2024. As part of this process, there are a series of listening sessions to gather input from the people of our diocese regarding our vision for our future and the qualities we seek in our new bishop. Your voice is needed. Please see the dates/times/locations of the listening sessions, and register to attend, by clicking this link and filling out the form. In-person sessions will include light refreshments. Registration for the in-person sessions is not required but appreciated in order to plan refreshments and seating. Registration is required for the Zoom sessions so that you receive the Zoom link.


    Capital Campaign:
    Planning Study at Epiphany

    Over the summer, the Vestry approved the formation of a Capital Campaign Committee with the intention to explore the possibility of a campaign to raise funds to care for needed repairs to our campus and strengthen our endowment to help support current and future ministry needs. Expanding the endowment has the promise of helping to create a sustainable campus and parish ministry into the future. We have partnered with CCS Fundraising and are moving forward with a campaign planning study aimed at helping determine the best course of action for a capital campaign.

    In order to understand the shared potential that exists for strengthening our campus and parish finances, we are asking for your participation. Over the next few weeks, you may be asked to sign-up for an interview or complete a survey. I ask you to please offer your time and wisdom to this effort. Please welcome this outreach and share your honest hopes and dreams, as well as your opinions and recommendations in this planning study.

    Yours in Christ,
    Rev. Nick on behalf of the Capital Campaign Committee


    Stroller Drive for New Migrant Families
    in Woburn

    As you may have heard, in the past few weeks, around 150 migrant families from Haiti and Central America have been placed in a few hotels in Woburn, MA. It is estimated that there are 75 kids under the age of five and many along the way. Families have been asking for “Umbrella strollers,” which are lightweight, foldable strollers, that they can store in the hotel rooms. This is a tangible way to welcome our new neighbors!

    Epiphany will collect gently used umbrella-style strollers or you can purchase these strollers and have them shipped directly to Woburn. If bringing in a stroller, drop-off is in the Genesis room in the basement. *Note that it is very important that the stroller is an Umbrella stroller, and is small, foldable, and lightweight. We cannot accept strollers that do not meet this criteria. If unsure, ask Rev. Janelle

    These are examples of appropriate and affordable options to purchase new strollers:

    Here is an Amazon link

    Here is a Walmart link

    Please ship new strollers directly to United Methodist Church, 523 Main Street, Woburn 01801. 


    Youth Faith Circle: Begins September 27

    The Youth Faith Circle is a new small group opportunity for youth to gather on second and fourth Wednesdays for a meal and time to be together. All 6-12th graders are invited to join leaders Rev. Janelle, Ellen W., and John J. We will meet on September 27, October 11, October 25, November 8, November 29, and December 13 from 6:15  7:30 pm. Tweens and teens in grades 6-12 are invited into community together and with caring adult leaders. Please reach out to Rev. Janelle, Associate Minister for Youth, for more information.


    Discover Course:
    Sign Up and More Details

    Join Rev. Nick in this course that begins in October and runs through early June. This twice-monthly course on Sundays at 2:00 pm 3:30 pm explores Christian faith and life and invites each participant to discover their faith in deeper and more authentic ways. This course is for those who are interested in more fully claiming a faith with integrity and joy. Register for the course by clicking here. An orientation and simple dinner will take place on Wednesday, September 27 at 6:15 pm in Hadley Hall for those interested. Contact Rev. Nick for more information.


    Book Group for Parents of Tweens & Teens

    Epiphany's new Parent Book Groups combine the support of friends, the guidance of experts, and the loving presence of God. Parents of tweens and teens will be reading The Emotional Lives of Teenagers: Raising Connected, Capable, and Compassionate Adolescents by adolescent psychologist Lisa Damour. The first meeting will be held on September 27 from 8:00 – 9:00 pm in the Suter Room. For more information, please email Bryn, Director of Children's Ministries. 


    Rise Against Hunger Meal-Packaging Event

    On Thursday, September 28, people of all ages are invited to a service event in support of Rise Against Hunger, which packs hundreds of shelf-stable, nutritionally-complete meal kits that are shipped overseas. The event, hosted by Winchester Rotary and held at Epiphany in Hadley Hall, will include jobs for everyone — even small children! You can come for any amount of time between 5:00 and 8:00 pm. Please click here to sign up or to make an online contribution. 


    Youth Laser Tag Event on September 30

    Youth in grades 6-12 are invited to an evening of laser tag at Xtreme Craze in Woburn on Saturday evening, September 30! We will meet at the church for pizza at 6:00 pm and head over to Xtreme Craze for laser tag. Pick up will be at 9:15 pm at the church. We ask for a donation of $20 per student, which is a discounted rate for pizza and laser tag. Youth are welcome to bring a friend! 

    Please reach out to Rev. Janelle if you have any questions. Please RSVP as soon as you can so we can get the right reservation!


    EfM Launches New Academic Year

    Education for Ministry (EfM) began its 2023-24 Academic Year this past Sunday with participants from five different nearby parishes and a new co-mentor, Shruti Kalkarni, along with Rev. Bob Davidson. The first year explores Christianity’s roots in Judaism through the Hebrew Bible. Registration remains open through October 1 but all twelve slots may be filled by then. Contact Rev. Davidson for more information. Click here to view a brochure about EfM. 


    Church School Registration Is Now Open

    Please take a moment now to register your children, in preschool through 5th grade, for Church School this year. Registering gives us important information, like allergies and your contact information. Whether your child will be in Church School every week, or even just occasionally, it is very helpful for them to be pre-registered. 

    Church School Sign-Up

    Word & Table: October 1

    Our first Word & Table service of the program year will be held on Sunday, October 1 at 5:00 pm in Hadley Hall. Offered on the first Sunday of each month, Word & Table is a casual, contemporary, and creative service based on our familiar Episcopal liturgy. 


    Parent Conversation Series Begins on October 3

    On Tuesdays October 3, October 24, and November 14 from 7:00  8:00 pm, join fellow parents along with leaders in the areas of family, child development, and spirituality as we engage in discussions around raising our children and teenagers. Rev. Nick, Dr. Brain Litzenberger (a psychologist who specializes in adolescence, anxiety and depression, parenting, transitions and much more), and Dr. Angelina Hawley-Dolan (PhD in Developmental Psychology and co-founder and Head of School at Aster Montessori) will join us as we think about parent identity, anxiety, growth, and well-being. The Parent Conversation Series is part of our 4th Soil Parenting Project Grant. 


    Midweek Resumes on October 4

    All are invited to our first Midweek @ Epiphany of the program year on Wednesday, October 4. Each Midweek begins at 6:15 pm with dinner and fellowship, followed by formation opportunities for adults, youth, and children. Click here to sign up to help prepare dinner! 


    Help with Fellowship Hour This Fall!

    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, September 21

    12:00pm Rotary in Hadley Hall and the Kitchen
    5:30pm Men's Group via Zoom 
    7:15pm Parish Choir Rehearsal in the Upper Parish Hall 

    9:00pm Compline via Zoom 

    Friday, September 22

    Day 1 of Parish Weekend Away 
    9:00am Yoga with Pam in Upper Parish Hall

    Saturday, September 23

    Day 2 of Parish Weekend Away 

    Sunday, September 24

    Day 3 of Parish Weekend Away 
    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 Parish Choir Warm-up in the Sanctuary  
    9:45am Nursery Care (ages 0-3 years) in the Dewart Room 

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

    11:15am Fellowship Hour in Hadley Hall and the Cloister Garden (Sign up to help) 
    6:00pm Education for Ministry in the Chapel 

    Monday, September 25

    6:00pm AA Meeting in Hadley Hall  

    7:30pm AA Meeting in Hadley Hall  
    7:30pm Creation Care and Environmental Justice Group Meeting in the Upper Parish Hall

    Tuesday, September 26

    8:30am Employment Transition Meeting via Zoom

    10:00am Staff Meeting in the Suter Room 

    Wednesday, September 27

    4:15pm Choristers Optional Skills Session and Snack in the Upper Parish Hall

    5:00pm Choristers Rehearsal in the Upper Parish Hall
    6:15pm Discover Course: Potluck Orientation in Hadley Hall 
    6:15pm Youth Faith Circle 

    8:00pm Parent Book Group (Tweens and Teens) in the Suter Room 

    Thursday, September 28

    12:00pm Rotary in Hadley Hall and the Kitchen
    5:00pm Rotary: Rise Against Hunger Meal-Packaging Event in Hadley Hall 

    5:30pm Men's Group via Zoom 
    7:15pm Parish Choir Rehearsal in the Upper Parish Hall 
    7:30pm Healing Ministry Team Meeting via Zoom 

    9:00pm Compline via Zoom 


    For More Information

    For pastoral emergencies, please contact clergy 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