Last weekend, 90 of us ranging in age from not-yet-walking to walking-slower-than-we-used-to converged on the Barbara C. Harris Camp & Conference Center for our Parish Weekend Away, a weekend of time together. Rev. Nick started off Saturday morning with an invitation to think about Jesus’ words to his disciples at his final meal with them: “I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.” (John 15:15). What does it mean to be friends to one another? And what does it mean for Epiphany to be a place where we are a friend to those around us and those around us are a friend to us? The memories and stories that we shared extended well beyond the 90 of us who were there this weekend. I doubt there is anyone reading this who did not somehow figure in someone’s thoughts and stories.
The weekend was not all thoughtful conversation about friendship; there were plenty of ways to learn and play with old and new friends, and we have a treasure trove of new photos for the parish newsletter and website! Amid the fun, I discovered that doing something different with someone was an opportunity to get to know them better and was reminded of what a gift this community is. Thank you to each of you for being the person that you are.
The weekend was also a reminder of the willingness of so many in this parish to volunteer your time and the gifts that so many of you have to plan, to teach, and to put on an amazing event. Thank you not only for all that you did, but for your welcoming smiles and joy!
On Sunday we will kick off our stewardship campaign and we hope that we will all take the time in the next month both to celebrate this community that we love and to consider how we will each financially support our life together. It is not easy to have conversations about money, but an important gift that we can give one another is to learn how to have open conversations about what we need to put together a 2024 budget that will continue the exceptional staff and programming that are so integral to who we are and who we are becoming.