Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. (I Corinthians 16:13-14)
God is calling to us to look ahead and to embrace brave change. As fewer people turn to the church as a source of solace and strength, more than ever we yearn to know and be known by God and one another. In a world plagued by grievous conflict, injustice, and poverty, God gives us the courage to be agents of reconciliation, justice, and abundance. There will be difficult choices for us as followers of Jesus. It is only through ongoing, prayerful discernment together that we will find a path to a faithful future.
From the Parish Transition Document, Diocese of Massachusetts
We have been busy! Lent and Easter is always a tricky time for me; I want to embrace the season and keep time for worship and prayer but I find it difficult to keep the demands of a busy life away. This Lent and Easter were more of a challenge because of all that is happening at Epiphany at this particular time. Dave and I collaborated with Miriam to draw up a Letter of Agreement for her time as our Bridge Priest and secured the services of Ran Chase to assist Miriam as an Interim Associate Priest. We also interviewed a candidate as our Interim Priest, introduced the candidate to the Vestry, got Vestry approval, and now will work on a Letter of Agreement. Once we have a Letter of Agreement we will announce our Interim Rector to the Parish. Your treasurers along with your wardens met with Bob Malone a Diocesan Congregational Consultant and had Epiphany's Transition Review. The purpose of this is to make sure our business affairs are in order. We had a very good meeting and once Bob writes his report, we will post it on our website under the Rector Transition tab. Here you can also find a Rector Search Timeline and other important information. In addition Cherie and Alan, your treasurers, have been working hard reviewing our budget to project how a rector search will affect our 2019 and 2020 budgets and what adjustments, if any, may be necessary. All of this has happened during Lent, Holy Week, and through the celebration of Easter.
Our next challenge is to convene a Search Committee, probably the most important step in a Rector Search. Ultimately, the Search Committee is responsible for recommending one person to the Vestry as the 11th Rector of the Parish of the Epiphany. The Search Committee is the creation of the Vestry and works for and on behalf of the Vestry. According to the Diocesan Guide for Parishes in Transition, it is important to keep in mind that in accordance with the Canons of the Church, only the Vestry can elect the Rector and the Wardens issue a call with the approval of the Bishop. If you would like to serve on the Search Committee, please see the Rector Transition page of our website for more information and the process for applying.
We are also still actively fundraising for the Together Forever Property Fund. Invitations to special gatherings are on the way to those of who have not had the opportunity to participate in the Together Now or Together Again campaigns, so you can join those who have given already. You will be invited to attend one of three gatherings held on Wednesday 8 May, Thursday 9 May, or Sunday 12 May to learn more about our fundraising for the elevator and other future projects. The ground breaking for the construction of the elevator will happen in early May.
So when Holy Week arrived, I intentionally put my Warden duties aside and focused on the beautiful Triduum services that Miriam, Craig, Carolyn, Sarah and many others planned for Holy Week. It was wonderful to just be in the moment of each special service that were so moving and some of the best I have experienced in my time at Epiphany.
With all the activity swirling around, it is easy to lose sight of what is most important in our life together: the Parish of the Epiphany is not just one person or one leader but a whole host of people working together furthering God’s kingdom here on earth. We do that beautifully and will continue to do that as we welcome new people into our community. Not only did we baptize three new babies yesterday, but on 4 May 2019, six adult members will be either received or confirmed into the Episcopal Church. Please congratulate and welcome them as we continue to welcome all who find their way to our doors.
Suzanne Owayda, Warden