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Who Do We Want to Be As a Parish?

March 09, 2023 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Exterior photo of Parish of the Epiphany in Winchester, MassachusettsThis is an exciting time to be at Epiphany! Midweek has solidified itself as a fixture in our parish life. We have a full staff and growing volunteers. We are coming together and exploring what it is to be a community in the post-lockdown era. It’s a perfect time to think about who we are as a parish and who we want to be. The use of our building and how it supports our vision is an important part of that conversation.

Last fall, the Property Committee presented an assessment of the current state of our property and the work that would be needed to maintain it over the next ten years. Understandably, there was a bit of sticker shock. Fortunately, Property interrogated the assessment’s assumptions and identified our slate roof would benefit from enhanced annual maintenance, but does not need to be replaced. This reduces our capital need from $6M to about $3.5M, which is good news for us all.

Regardless, we will need a capital campaign to fund the building repairs and build the church’s endowment to support our mission as a church. “What is the mission of our church?” Who do we want to be as a parish? Or to put it another way, what is our vision for the future of our church? These are very important questions that we need to decide on.

It would be straightforward for our vestry to decide on a vision for the future , but the result wouldn’t reflect our community as a whole. To truly be a vision that drives our programming and activities as a church, it needs to come from all of us. Our vestry engaged in a workshop led by Corey Hollenbeck where, instead of focusing on what we thought the vision should be, we focused on how to best gather input from the parish as a whole.

Soon your wardens and vestry will be reaching out to targeted groups from across the parish to get a feel for the differing views and find the commonalities within our congregation. The feedback we receive will influence which groups we talk to next and how we will bring the congregation together. Along the way, the process will include parish-wide conversations to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to be heard. Remember, one of the great things about being an Episcopalian is we have room for disparate views! Eventually we will coalesce around a common vision that will drive our programming and overall mission of the church.

These conversations will also afford us the opportunity to re-think the use of our building to better align with who we are and who we want to be as a parish. We are already seeing the beginning of this process. To better align with modern views on childcare, including better air quality and natural light, our nursery has been moved upstairs, Godly Play has also been moved to the Upper Parish Hall, and people are starting to ask what the future use for the basement should be.

Coalescing around a common vision will take time. It obviously will not come to conclusion before we start a capital campaign later this year. But the conversations we have over the next few months should give us an overall direction to base the campaign on.

This is an exciting time to be part of this community. We are growing as a parish, exploring who we are, and we are changing as a result. By working together and engaging in dialogue to chart a common direction, we will ensure that our path forward reflects who we are and who we want to be as a parish. I am excited and honored to serve as one your wardens through this process. 

Darwin Keith-Lucas, Warden

Location & Contact

70 Church Street
Winchester, MA 01890
Phone: 781.729.1922


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