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An Awfully Good Year

September 07, 2023 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Parishioners eating lunch at Parish of the Epiphany's 2021 Rally Day celebrationI recently learned that whenever I said the word parish, my 10-year-old son thought I was saying perish. As in “die, whither way, suffer ruin.” As you might imagine, as a staff member here at Epiphany, I say the word parish a lot. And as someone in Children’s Ministry, I was more than a little wide-eyed that I hadn’t caught this before. I mean, good grief, my own child was hearing the opposite of what I intend to preach: that we come to this parish to find life abundant, shared, and full of eternal hope. 

After establishing that this verbal confusion hadn’t caused my son any unnecessary existential crises, I had two thoughts: first, that church language proves once again to be exclusionary and too often left undefined. 

My second thought was that my son could say I'm the Director of Parish Life and Oxymorons

But back to that first thought: as we head into the fall, let's lay out some things that can clearly be misunderstood. 

  1. Parish means this church–the building but also the people. We are all the parish—all who come and worship here, and consider this place a part of our lives. We are the parish together. And this parish is a place of life, growth, hope, and joy. 
  2. The Program Year is how we refer to September through June, when we have lots of regular programs going on all week long. The opposite of the Program Year is summer, when things are quieter and fewer programs are happening during the week. The Program Year starts this weekend.
  3. Rally Day is like a big festive kick-off for the Program Year. It is this Sunday, September 10, after worship. It’s fun, and the food is delicious. After Rally Day, our ‘23-24 Program Year has officially begun, and we jump back into all sorts of formation opportunities. 
  4. Formation can mean everything one does when walking and growing in faith–prayer, music, worship, outreach, fellowship, small groups–but also we use this word to mean more overtly teachy sorts of things like Bible studies, church school, and adult classes. Friends, there are so many opportunities about to begin. 

Dear parish, I am so grateful, and so excited, to begin this new season together. I think it’s going to be an awfully good year. 


Location & Contact

70 Church Street
Winchester, MA 01890
Phone: 781.729.1922


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