As we approach the end of the program year, the church staff begins to plan Gratitude Sunday, a name we give to the last Sunday before our summer schedule begins. This year it happens to coincide with Pentecost, which we will be celebrating on June 9th. In preparation for this, we set aside time in a staff meeting to talk about people who have given graciously of their time and talent to make all manner of things happen at Epiphany. As we began to talk about it this year, it quickly became apparent just how many people that is. So many in fact, that we decided the we had to limit our thanks to people who help with worship and Sunday School, or risk having a service that would go into the afternoon!
This spring in particular has been full of activities. We started by saying good-bye and thank you to Thomas and Tom with parties and services. Just a few weeks later, we were celebrating Holy Week and the glory of Easter. Then, in the middle of May, the congregation came together with an outpouring of love and affection for the Wilson and Adams families at the loss of David Wilson and Anne Adams. Throughout all of this, I was reminded that Epiphany is a church family that cares deeply for one another and is always ready to lend a hand. I have worked in several churches over the years, and I want you to know that this is not true in every parish. In fact, I think it is one of the things that makes us unique.
Of course, I am so grateful to our dedicated choir members who joyfully give up hours of their free time each week to attend rehearsals and sing for Sunday morning services, Evensong, funerals, Lessons and Carols, and Holy Week. But I am equally grateful for the greeters and ushers, the altar guild, the Epiphany visitors, our new Stephen’s ministers, the Sunday School teachers, those who help with our new community gardens, the many people who help with receptions, the office volunteers, the acolytes, those who make prayer shawls, our prayer team, committee and vestry members, our young choristers, those with help with immigration and justice ministries, people who travel to and support El Hogar, folks who support St. Stephen’s, the flower guild, those who deliver flowers, etc., etc., etc.
One of the things that we often remark about as a staff is how often, when people are asked to do something at Epiphany, they joyfully say yes. I can also tell you that we are all very grateful for all you do. As we move into a new season when we will be welcoming an Interim Rector, and eventually a new Rector, know that your participation and love for this place will be even more important, and that your efforts will help ensure that Epiphany remains a warm, loving, and vital parish.