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News & Resources: Spiritual Spot


Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

You'll find here occasional writings, a few rants, and hopefully some insights too, about Christian discipleship, the Episcopal Church, and on faith community's life at the Parish of the Epiphany in Winchester, Massachusetts. At the Epiphany we understand ourselves to be "a welcoming Episcopal community, united in God, called to seek and serve Christ in all persons, and to transform the world with love and generosity."

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  • April 11, 2024 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Stock image of daisies and tall grass in a green fieldIn the liturgical calendar, Easter isn’t just one day, it’s an entire season! 50 days. Longer than Lent, longer than Advent. A season of life, celebration, and hope. Now, I know that not all of you feel like you are in an Easter season. As Christians, we are called to live into seasons whether or not we truly feel or maybe even fully believe it. We are called to hold this tension. To carry both grief and hope. Joy and sorrow. Doubt and wonder. So whatever season you may feel yourself to be in, allow this Easter season to draw you towards the places that carry life and hope. Look for the risen Christ in our midst. Look for that new life that sometimes requires change to find it. Like the new buds of flowers and the warmth of the sun after the long winter, new life is always possible. Thanks be to God!

    With gratitude,
    Rev. Janelle

  • April 04, 2024 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Two Epiphany Church School children from above as they work on projectThe predictability of our traditional liturgy gets a little shaken up for a few minutes every Sunday. Mid-way through the 10:00 am service, a big group of little people parade in from Church School (sometimes a bit late, sometimes a moment early, and occasionally right on time). Their hands are full of creations or covered in sand, and they are in full swing of enjoying each other's company. They crowd around the steps for the children’s sermon, which is unscripted. We all (you, me, the priests, their parents) wonder what will happen that day. A mystery of faith. 

    One Sunday this Lent, I left my comfortable place on the floor with the kiddos to stand in Hadley Hall, with a microphone, talking to adults. I offered a forum on “praying like a child.'' We colored, tried prayer sticks, and meditated on the flame of a candle — our tried and true favorite practices from Church School. I also asked these adventurous adults about their memories of prayer and faith as little children. 

    What struck me as I spoke with these wonderful grown-ups—many in the current grandparent generation—was how different today's faith formation best practices and pedagogies are to many who grew up in the church. Many adults shared their negative childhood experiences around religion and religious education. Their generosity in giving me a window into their decades’ old hurt or grief was eye-opening, and renewed my commitment to what we try to do here, now—faith formation full of joy. Questions. Wonder. Individuality. Friendships. Unconditional acceptance. Wiggles. 

    This year, we have two Church School classes; two classes for that big gaggle of delightful young ones you see gathered below the altar. But we need three. This fall, we will add a third class. 

    In order to do this, we need more helpers. I need more volunteers. We need YOU.

    But maybe you need us, too. Maybe the wonder, the experimentation, the core stories told in new ways, the hands-in/feet-on time together with those little guys who truly get unconditional love . . . Maybe coming on back to Church School is exactly what your faith, heart, and soul need now. 

    After worship on Sunday, May 5, we will hold an absolutely-no-commitment information session about the many ways you can be part of children's ministry here. Please come and see. 


  • March 28, 2024 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Stock image of hands holding a heart-shaped stone with the word "Hope" carved into itThere is a four-letter word on my heart this week. And that word is HOPE. Hope can be a bit like courage—it is not necessarily something you need each and every moment of your life, but when it is needed, there is no substitute. That may be because both hope and courage take heart (the root word of courage is in fact, coeur, "heart" in French). This Holy Week, we live from the heart, that small space where hope and courage meet. And this, friends, is exactly what we need in the world and in our lives. We walk with Jesus in the depths of our heart; through our pain, sorrow, struggles, and confusion, we pray for courage. A heart-centered living that Jesus showed us in this last week of his life. We pray that, through this journey, we will know and hold fast to a hope that is an unspeakable gift. It is the anchor of our lives, a hope in God. It is that gift that calls for the gift itself. Hope calls forth hope. 

    I hope to walk with you, as together, we walk with Christ, this week. That together, in worship and service, in the breaking of bread and the silence of our prayers, we will come to that Easter hope that is ours forever. I pray for this deep, anchoring, life-giving gift for you and for me: Hope. A four letter word that we pray be upon our lips and in our hearts this and every day. I look forward to being with you in this most sacred of weeks.

    Peace and Hope and Courage is yours in Christ,

  • March 21, 2024 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    People from behind sitting in the pews in the sanctuary of Parish of the Epiphany, WinchesterAs you may know, we recently held listening sessions and an online survey to gather your input on an update to our church website and logo. It’s been over a decade since our last refresh, and we’re excited to create a more user-friendly website and more welcoming online presence.

    On behalf of the staff, web design committee, and vestry, we were so grateful for the participation in this process. Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts! The word "welcoming" consistently rose to the top in the feedback. Some of you described Epiphany as a "sacred hug" and others a place where "the spirit of God is in these walls." It's clear that creating a welcoming atmosphere is a core value of our church family, and we want our website and logo to reflect that warmth and inclusivity.

    As you may recall, Jesus used signs and symbols as part of his ministry — things like bread and wine to welcome people in. In this process, we get to think about the signs and symbols of our parish that reflect that call that God has given Epiphany over our rich history and into our future.

    We also heard about how Epiphany embraces both tradition and innovation. From our wonderful music on a Sunday morning, to the impromptu children’s sermon and Midweek, we strive to honor our legacy while remaining open to the new ways God’s spirit is moving us.

    What was made very clear in these sessions and survey is that you all love Epiphany. What a gift to love this place and these people, together.

    We will continue to keep you updated on the website and logo design process.  We are approaching this project with prayer, discernment, and a deep appreciation for this beautiful community.

    In the meantime, Holy Week begins this coming Palm Sunday. I encourage you to join us for the special services leading up to Easter. These powerful retellings of Jesus' life are a meaningful way to prepare for the Easter celebration.

    With gratitude,
    Rev. Janelle

  • March 14, 2024 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Photo of the tower and brick exterior of the Parish of the Epiphany in Winchester, MAWe did it! We started the Building for the Ages campaign with a goal to raise $3M, and we surpassed it. I am truly thankful for the generosity shown during the campaign.

    Now that donations have started to arrive, we are embarking on the long process of repairing and restoring our campus. We will start with sealing the building exterior: roofs, gutters, walls, doors, and windows. Once we seal the building against the elements, we will move on to the interior, including cleaning the bricks in the sanctuary.

    One of the critical components to sealing a building against the elements is the exterior paint. After close inspection by our weekday Sexton, Tony Catino, the paint that protects our wood trim and metal fire escapes is worn and cracked. We are starting to see some water damage and, if we don't fix it, the repairs could be costly. As a bonus, new paint looks good.

    I am happy to announce that our first contract to be funded by Building for the Ages was recently approved by the Vestry. This summer you may see some scaffolding around the building. Nick's Painting will be repainting the exterior and reglazing all 188 exterior windows. In fact, if you want a preview, they just did a color test by painting one of the windows in the Cloister Garden. It looks great. A fresh coat of paint really does make a difference.

    With the start of our renovations, I am reminded that we will be doing quite a few renovation and repair projects on our church in the coming years. There is a clear need and opportunity for you to help. While the Property Committee is always looking for new members, what we really need are parishioners who are willing to lend a few hours a week to help with a specific project and, when that project completes, go back to their regular lives. If these types of projects interest you, or if you want to learn more about how they are done, please reach out to me or the Property Co-Chair, Jenifer Tidwell. We will be happy to speak with you. 

    Darwin Keith-Lucas

  • March 07, 2024 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Stock image of a hand putting a red paper into the palm of an outstretched handFriends was the number one show on television during its heyday — and Chandler Bing, played by Matthew Perry, could steal a scene like no other cast member. Recently, I have been listening to Matthew Perry's memoir, and it pulls at the heart. Here is this man who is living this world's dream of success — at one point starring in the #1 movie and the #1 television series, not to mention dating Julia Roberts. His story is so incredible, defined by fame and fortune — and, his story is so incredibly ordinary. At the heart of it all, he says, is the need to be loved, to know you are enough. I have yet to meet someone who was not in need of love. And I have yet to meet someone who is not made more fully human by being loved by others. 

    Love, which is God, is the great mystery that puts us together — and puts us back together at times too. Love can feel a feeble thing when faced with the chaos or the suffering of our world, and I suppose this is true of our faith. As Christians, we worship a God who is made powerful in weakness. We see and say as much in Jesus, and Holy Week will remind us of this so very clearly. This is the shape of Love — the most powerful force on earth — the most vulnerable of powers we can wield. This is true whether we are talking about the streets of Rafah or the inner life of the human heart. We know Love would make things right if we could but live it, if we could simply accept it is ours. We ask God, "What are you going to do to make things right?" and God echoes back, "And you? What are you going to do?" We hunger for wholeness in ourselves and in our world. The way, we are told by Jesus is Love. This week, notice what brings you love — and give thanks. If it is someone, tell them. If it is something, offer gratitude. If it is what you are called to do, do it. For this is the mysterious math of Love — the more it is given away, the more it grows.

    Rev. Nick Myers

  • February 29, 2024 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Aerial photo of the Parish of the Epiphany located in Winchester, MAThis is an exciting time to be at Epiphany. You can just feel it in the room during the Children’s Sermon on a Sunday morning, around a dinner table at Midweek, or in friendships deepening with the number of different community gatherings we have throughout the week. As Nick reminded us on Sunday, this excitement and energy is not just for us to store up for ourselves or pat ourselves on the back for how successful, strong, or capable we are — it is a sign of God’s generosity and care. Where we have received, we are to give. Because we have been loved, we are to love. What we have here is to be shared generously with the world and people who are not yet apart of our community.
    We are entering a new chapter at Epiphany. We have reached (and surpassed!) our Capital Campaign goals to take care of our beloved building and to seed an endowment that will take care of future generations and chapters of our parish. Gratitude upon gratitude for all who joined together to make possible.

    One of the ways that we will be marking this new chapter is by visually representing it through a new website and new brand identity that we hope to launch this fall. Our website and our branding (logo, colors, fonts) are the first welcome to people who may be interested in joining our community. The vestry and staff have been reflecting upon how our current website and branding no longer visually represent who we are becoming. They do not adequately show the excitement and vibrancy in our parish or mark the ways we are changing and growing.

    Before I was a priest, I was a graphic designer, and I have seen time and time again the power that a new brand can have in aesthetically representing mission, vision, and goals. It truly is an act of hospitality to authentically represent who we are with those who have yet to come through our doors. A new brand is also a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our identity, who we have been, and where God is calling us next.

    At the direction of the vestry and Nick, we have compiled a team of parishioners that have been meeting since last fall to help lead this exciting new project. We have come to a point where we are ready to start working on our new brand and website. We have selected a graphic designer to do our new brand and are entering the initial stages of that process.

    We want the voice of the community of Epiphany to be a part of this.

    We will be holding two listening sessions to hear from you all and share thoughts and ideas. The first will be on Wednesday, March 6 during Midweek. The second will be after the 10:00 am service on Sunday, March 10.

    We encourage you to attend those meetings as well as to put down some of your initial thoughts in this survey.

    What a gift it is to be in this journey together as we turn the pages into a new chapter.

    With gratitude,
    Rev. Janelle

  • February 22, 2024 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A hand watering a small plantWe’re a week deep into Lent, and we can hear, see, and feel it in our worship together. Our service was book-ended by changes this past Sunday. We started with the Great Litany – the choir, cross, acolytes and ministers weaving up and down and around the sanctuary while Rev Nick cantored and we responded. And we ended worship with “Thanks be to God.” Full stop. No alleluia, alleluia, to be heard.

    Over in the Chapel the children thought about these strange, somber alterations. Why the new ritual? What’s wrong with “alleluia”? What do we make of it all?  

    We got literal, and got our hands dirty by “burying the alleluias.” Bury, like a grave? Bury, like a hidden treasure? Bury, like a seed? 

    The season of Lent can be waiting, frozen, for a miracle resurrection; or searching diligently for something amazing; or watering and encouraging slow workings of growth. I look forward to walking beside you all this Lent, and learning what preparing for the great mystery of Easter means to you. 

    Bryn Hollenbeck 

  • February 08, 2024 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Young adults at Epiphany's 20s, 30s, and Early 40s Group gathering in January 2024few weeks ago, we had one of our Epiphany Young Adult Gatherings (20s, 30s, early 40s). It was a wonderful evening gathering together and growing in community. Many thanks to our seminarian, Clayton, and his partner Jonathan for hosting us! We got to know each other better, we went around sharing small snippets of our faith journeys, and we ended the evening praying Compline together.

    There are three things that especially stood out to me from our time together:

    1. A majority of us did not grow up in The Episcopal Church. I’m so glad Epiphany is a place that people who did not grow up in this tradition can find a welcome.
    2. I was called “the old timer” because I had been at Epiphany for 1.5 years — which was longer than everyone else there! We have been talking about how Epiphany is growing and we are entering a new chapter, and this is an example.
    3. Many from this group are also involved in Faith Circles, The Discover Course, Midweek, and Word & Table.

    To expand on point #3, I found it quite profound that we are now in a season as a church community that parishioners can find home and connection beyond attending Sunday morning services. In fact, some of our young adults do not attend Sunday mornings, but are actively involved at Epiphany in other ways. This is a reminder that Church has many forms. Yes, we love our Sunday mornings here, but church is also sharing a meal together at Midweek, sharing our lives in a Faith Circle, serving together in the community, and journeying with one another through all that life brings. We don’t live just a Sunday morning faith, but one that encompasses every day and every moment of our week. God is always doing new things, and it is our responsibly to attune to that new life and to continue to cultivate it. Our new young adult community is just one example of new life here at Epiphany. Do you have others? Continue to share where you are seeing new life and continue to cultivate it — that is what it means to be church.

    With gratitude,
    Rev. Janelle

  • February 01, 2024 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Jonathan Ortloff leading Organ 101 lecture in January 2024It’s wonderful to live and work in a large city with such an array of both pipe organs and folks who are interested in these complex instruments! The planets seemed to line up spectacularly this past month, with several interesting events featuring the King of Instruments.

    We at Epiphany are very fortunate indeed to have organist and organ builder Jonathan Ortloff in the pews, or even occasionally in the loft playing or singing! He is here with us for a time, along with our Seminarian Clayton McCleskey (also an organist and singer— we’re getting five for the price of one it seems). Clayton organized the ongoing Epiphany forum series, which included an Organ 101 lecture demonstration by Jonathan on Sunday, January 21. What a fun and informative session, which was also very well attended by folks of all ages. And who knew that Jonathan could blow into two pipes simultaneously (with his mouth, not using two nostrils). The level of interest in and commitment to music here at Epiphany was evident in the attention the participants gave, as well as in their thoughtful and provoking questions. It is clear that an Organ 102 session is in order. If you are interested in knowing more about what resources would be needed for minor upkeep and/or more major enhancements to our Fisk gallery instrument, or if you are perhaps curious about what it would take to see a new organ installed once again in our chancel, please do not hesitate to reach out to me for a conversation.

    On Saturday, January 27, the Young Organist Initiative of the Boston Chapter of the American Guild of Organists hosted a masterclass at Harvard’s Memorial Church with Associate Organist/Choirmaster Dr. David von Behren. Two of this year’s scholarship students (including our own 6th-grader Ilario Faienza), along with one of the scholarship winners from last season, performed on the chancel organ. Then all were treated to the opportunity to play and climb inside the back gallery 2012 Fisk organ (seen in the picture below). A good time was had by all. Incidentally, Savannah Curro is a former YOI scholarship student; she was invited to speak to the group for a few minutes. You may recall her, as she spent her high school senior year as a music intern at Parish of the Epiphany (she sends her greetings!). Savannah has recently begun a divinity course of study at Yale University. She is also pictured below, next to Ilario.

    Jeremy Bruns

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70 Church Street
Winchester, MA 01890
Phone: 781.729.1922


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