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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."

  • June 22, 2023 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Headshot of the Rev. Janelle HiroshigeI first sensed a call to be what I would now call a priest back when I was in college. At the time, this felt impossible. I grew up in a denomination that did not ordain women, I went to college to be a graphic designer, and I had an extreme fear of public speaking, and really just speaking in general. I felt that God would have to perform a miracle in order for this secret dream to become true one day. Following this call has been the adventure of a lifetime.

    I moved away from my hometown of San Diego to move to Nashville, TN. In Nashville was where I found the church and priest that would encourage me and support me to go to seminary. I moved away from Nashville, a city I would have loved to stay in, to go to Atlanta to test out a call and to attend seminary at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. In Atlanta, I was received into the Episcopal church and interned at a church that became my sponsor parish. I also found many Episcopal priests who were excited to journey with me through the ordination process. And as you all know, I moved away from Atlanta to Boston to be with you all and my husband, Peter. 

    Looking back on this journey, I am filled with gratitude. Though it has been scary and has required a lot of sacrifice, it has also been filled with the most loving communities that I wouldn’t have known had I not taken that next step forward. This Friday is my ordination to the priesthood which is formally a 5-year process, but a journey that I feel started much before then. I see this Friday as a celebration that God and home can be found in many different places. 

    One of my favorite hymn writers, Shirley Erena Murray, has a hymn called "When We Lift Up Our Pack and Go.” The words to this hymn have been a companion to me along my journey that has involved a lot of goodbyes and hellos. The hymn goes like this:

    “When we lift our pack and go,
           when we seek another country,
                  moving far from all we know,
                         when we long to journey free --

    Refrain:  God is in the other place,
           God is in another's face,
           in the faith we travel by,
           God is in the other place.

    In the hands outstretched to greet,
           through the open doors of strangers
                  there is love we yet can meet
                         and believe that Christ is there --

     Refrain:  God is in the other place,
           God is in another's face,
           in the faith we travel by,
           God is in the other place.”

    Now I know that it is your faces that I have been preparing to know throughout this whole journey. What a gift to be called to this community! I hope to see you this Friday at Epiphany at 6:00 pm. 

    If you are unable to attend in person, you may tune in via the livestream here.

    With gratitude,
    Rev. Janelle

  • June 15, 2023 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Green road sign reading "Future Ahead"On Sunday, many of us gathered after the 10:00 am service in Hadley Hall and on Zoom for a State of the Church conversation with Rev. Nick and the wardens. A special thank you to many of you who got there even though you hadn’t been at the 10:00 am service (yes, we noticed!). Rev. Nick opened with a reflection on the program year and possible next steps in our current activities, as well as some of the bigger questions about where we are going and the challenges we face.

    One area that will have a major impact on our future as a church is stewardship. For our upcoming stewardship campaign, 
    one of our challenges is to sustain pledge levels that support our current activities, as well as increases in staff salaries and inflationary increases across all of our costs. Historically, three households have contributed almost one-third of the pledges that fund our budget. Clearly, that is unsustainable and we will, in fact, see a reduction of about 10% of our budget next year. A key element of our stewardship campaign this fall will be small-group gatherings with the goal of building a greater awareness of how our individual pledges impact what we can do as a community, as well as engaging everyone in conversations about who we are and our priorities.

    While stewardship addresses our immediate needs, one of our long-term needs centers around the repair and maintenance of our property and our endowment. Our property committee has been scrutinizing last year’s property assessment, and our current thinking is that our property repairs are roughly $3M over the next 10 years. Concurrently, our Endowment and Planned Giving Committee performed a short study comparing our endowment of $1M to other churches in the diocese of similar size and similar demographics. Based on that comparison, we are substantially underfunded. We do not have a buffer to absorb a down year. Our parish is funded from stewardship campaign to stewardship campaign. As a parish, we are doing the equivalent of living paycheck to paycheck. An increased endowment is an opportunity to fix that.  

    One of the things that holds us back as a parish is that each year $250K of your stewardship dollars goes to utilities, maintenance, and repairs to our campus. An opportunity with the capital campaign is to raise enough of an endowment to offset some or even all of the annual building costs. A $6M endowment for our buildings would free up $250K each year, which could have a profound impact on furthering our programming, mission, and impact on society. 

    Our Vestry is committed to addressing these challenges. For the capital campaign, the Vestry has approved funding for a campaign consultant to help plan and execute our capital campaign. Our first step will be a feasibility assessment, which we plan to start in the early fall. The planning stages of our capital and stewardship campaigns will be happening in parallel. Both campaigns will impact the overall direction of the church, which needs to be a shared vision with input from the full congregation. We will want to hear from you, probably multiple times. 

    In closing, this is an exciting time for Epiphany. We have had a very strong ‘22/’23 program year which has been a source of joy and gratitude: our community is growing; wonderful things are happening; and there are many places in which God is calling us into deeper relationships and faith as a parish community. We are facing some challenges which we plan to address through stewardship and a capital campaign. While they focus on things like operating budgets and property endowments, in the end these campaigns are really about investing in the future of this vibrant, active and involved parish that we call Epiphany.

    Thank you, 
    Darwin Keith-Lucas & Nelia Newell 

  • June 08, 2023 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Whenever my mother had something important to tell me, she would have this "voice." She'd say, "Nick, I want to talk to you about something." And I knew at that moment that something important was about to be shared. 

    Our "State of the Church" this Sunday at 11:30 am in Hadley Hall is one of those moments. We have something(s) important to share with you, Epiphany. Joining me on Sunday will be our wardens, Nelia Newell and Darwin Keith-Lucas. Together, we will reflect upon the past year and look to the year ahead, with a clarified understanding about the challenges and opportunities we are being invited into as a parish. This time will be focused on us sharing, but more importantly, we want to have a space to dialogue together. We are a strong and vibrant parish right now. We continue to welcome newcomers and visitors and deepen our ministries of children, families, youth, and connecting the generations. Our music program is thriving, our worship is robust, our service to neighbors is steadfast. And, with this growth comes opportunity and responsibility. We do all of this together, and without you our life together would be diminished—we would not be who we are.

    So, Epiphany, we want to talk to you about something. We want to talk about the next chapter in our life together, what we see emerging, and the challenges that are before us. We want to talk and listen together and be renewed as we close our program year.

    I hope you can join us for this State of the Church on Sunday. Childcare for nursery-aged little ones will be available until 12:30 pm and board games for older kids will be available in the library off the parish hall.

    If you cannot be in person, you can view this State of the Church conversation by clicking here and joining on Zoom.

    See you Sunday,
    Rev. Nick

  • June 01, 2023 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    View of the Grand Tetons through a windowLast year on Pentecost Sunday, I attended a service at the Chapel of the Transfiguration in the Grand Teton mountains in Wyoming. The little chapel looks like a cabin and has the most stunning views of the Grand Teton mountains behind the altar. I was helping lead a pilgrimage trip for the youth from St. Luke’s in Atlanta. Due to the pandemic, this trip had been cancelled multiple times and by the time we were able to do it, some of the youth had recently graduated and were about to start college in the fall. It was the perfect time for a pilgrimage — and not just for the youth. Just a week before the trip, I had accepted a job to be with you all in the fall! I knew in my own life, things were about to drastically change. What better way to process upcoming changes than by spending time in the mountains? Sometimes it helps to take a step outside of day-to-day life in order to notice God faithfulness.

    So our group sat in those pews in that little chapel with the Teton mountain range as the backdrop on that Pentecost Sunday. The priest, Rev. Roxanne Friday, preached about the Holy Spirit appearing to her in a dream about her late grandmother. The wind blew through the open windows and it was one of the most memorable Sunday mornings I’ve ever been too. The place, our group, and where we all were at in our lives seemed to intersect in deeply profound ways that week that could only be credited to the work of the Spirit. 

    We are coming towards the end of our program year together. When I look back on the year, I am filled with gratitude for the ways our lives have intersected at Epiphany. This I would credit to the work of the Spirit. Epiphany is truly a special and incredible community. My year with you all started with getting dunked in a dunk tank and, as it continued, it included: a night hike at the Parish Weekend Away, commemorating the end of Christmas by burning branches from our trees together at Midweek, playing hide-and-go-seek at the church with our teens, exploring new community partnerships and ways we can be in solidarity with our neighbors, and countless moments of joy in community. 

    In a couple weeks, on June 23 at 6:00 pm, I will be ordained to the priesthood here at Epiphany. You are invited! In The Episcopal Church, ordinations to the priesthood are made possible when a parish calls the soon-to-be-priest. This typically happens when one has found their first job out of seminary. My ordination to the priesthood is made possible because you all are my first call. What a deep honor that is for me. I believe that God’s spirit led me to you. It’s just that more meaningful that I’ve already been here for almost a year. We got a bonus year together as I started this position before I was ordained, and I look forward to the memories we have yet to make and the ways that God’s spirit will continue to breathe in each and every moment. Thanks be to God.

    With gratitude,
    Rev. Janelle

  • May 25, 2023 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Snowy landscape during a blizzardThere was a time when farmers in middle America, at the first sign of a blizzard, would run a rope from their house out to the barn. As writer and teacher, Parker Palmer tells it: these farmers “all knew stories of people who had wandered off and been frozen to death, having lost sight of home in a whiteout while still in their own backyards.” You and I live in a blizzard of another kind. The winds of injustice, ecological ruin, partisan vitriol, gun violence, religious malpractice, rampant consumerism, and war batter our souls. You know, as well as I, how we can easily wander off into this madness and never make it home. We read headlines of people who have lost their bearings, we know in ourselves how overwhelming it is to be separated from our truest and most whole self—that person God has made us to be.

    We live divided lives that manifest in so many ways: refusal to invest ourselves in our work or community; remaining in settings or relationships that kill our spirit; hiding beliefs to avoid challenge, conflict, or change; concealing our identities for fear of being shunned, criticized, or attacked. Living a divided life only increases the swirl of the blizzard of our lives. We need a rope to hold onto, so that we can make it back home.

    This coming program year, we will be launching Faith Circles. These small groups, rooted in the sharing of life and faith together, are places that we can tie a rope from the back door to the barn, so that we can find our way back home. As was shared this past Sunday by Jeff Neal, a leader of this effort: Faith Circles are small groups of about 8 to 10 people that will meet a couple of times per month and give us the opportunity to form deep, lasting relationships with each other that are neither invasive, nor evasive, but invite us to stay centered in God and what the great Christian writer Thomas Merton called our “true self.”

    Faith Circles are a safe space where we can be present to each other and support each other in the discovery of God’s presence in our lives and our deep desire for meaning and wholeness. 

    Faith Circles are welcoming, trustworthy places where we can open up to each other, share our hopes and our fears, and explore our faith and doubts in meaningful, transformative ways — where we can make true that wonderful statement of Jesus: “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

    In this life, you and I need trustworthy relationships and tenacious communities to support and encourage the journey of faith, which is a journey towards the wholeness we find in God’s Love. I know that not everyone will be drawn to such small groups; and, I know how desperately we need spaces and places in our lives that are outside our families and most intimate friends, where we can reflect, discover, question, and grow in new and life-giving ways. My deep hope is that Faith Circles will offer such a safe space where we discover Christ with us and renewed purpose and meaning for our living.

    If you are interested in joining a Faith Circle, or would simply like to know more about them, please come to the Forum in Hadley Hall after the 10:00 am Eucharist on Sunday, June 18. Or, reach out to me directly at

    See you this Pentecost Sunday,
    Rev. Nick

  • May 18, 2023 2:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Pentecost hanging with doves at Parish of the Epiphany, WinchesterI have a lot of things on my desk to help me be a good Episcopalian; special calendars, an Episocal dictionary, the Book of Common Prayer. The truth is, while I was raised in the church, I wasn’t raised in the Episcopal Church, and sometimes that leaves me with a twinge of what psychologists call “imposter syndrome.” Loosely translated, this finds me calmly nodding while wearing my staff nametag, but thinking “what are y’all doing and saying right now?” Maybe you feel that in the church sometimes, too.

    Maybe you’ll feel that when, today, I wish you a Happy Ascension Day! (Thanks official Episcopal Church Year Guide Calendar, and no, we don’t typically wish each other a “happy ascension day.”) Ascension Day, for those unfamiliar with the term, is exactly 40 days after the Resurrection of Jesus (aka Easter Sunday). Today we remember the day when Jesus, post-crucifixion and resurrection, ascends into Heaven. He leaves his disciples for the second, and final, time. But, lest the disciples fall into despair, Jesus promises that he will not leave them alone; he will send a helper and counselor, the Holy Spirit. The disciples wait together, praying, for another ten days, and the Holy Spirit comes upon them in gusts of wind and flame. (We celebrate this on Pentecost, next Sunday—that’s what all the red and the birds and the flame imagery is about.)

    I love the Holy Spirit. I love how accessible, how personal the Holy Spirit is. The thought that the presence of God is in me, with me, everywhere, gives me great hope and confidence. I was challenged recently to consider this: What if we believed—really believed—that the Holy Spirit was everywhere? How would this change our lives?  Maybe, we’ll find that much of what we are doing already is a holy practice where God is. Maybe, as we use these next ten days to pray for the Holy Spirit to be irresistible and unquenchable in our lives, we can own the fact that we are called to love God, to love our neighbor, and to build God’s kingdom both within the walls of Epiphany and everywhere we live our lives, and maybe—just maybe—we already are. 


  • May 11, 2023 2:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Youth and adult Epiphany volunteers at The Dwelling PlaceLiberation theologian Gustavo Gutierrez once said, “You say you care about the poor? Then tell me, what are their names?

    People that we label as ‘poor’ or ‘marginalized’ or ‘different from us’ have names, and dreams, and hopes too. It’s important for us to be in close enough proximity to know these things.

    Part of my responsibilities here on staff is exploring community partnerships and helping our Mission & Outreach committee discern where God might be calling us in this season. We sent out a survey a couple months ago to get a better idea of where the energy and excitement might be when it comes to being in solidarity with our neighbors and engaging in social justice.

    It was clear that a majority of your answers desired prioritizing local opportunities to serve. Some of you stated that with local “we can create real and lasting relationships with our neighbors” and that “charity beings at home and then expands outward.” Many answers also highlighted the importance of having our kids being involved and the ways that opportunities to serve in our community could be truly formative experiences for all involved.

    Serving locally does not negate global partnerships, but it was clear that local is something that our parish is wanting to prioritize in this season. As a parish, we read Tattoos on the Heart by Fr. Gregory Boyle during Lent. I head from many of you that this was an impactful book that increased your desire to be in better solidarity and kinship with our neighbors. I believe kinship is best embodied when we have done both inner and outer work. Inner work involves worshipping together, learning together, engaging in anti-racism practices, and connecting our faith to acts of justice and compassion. Outer work is showing up and being present in the community — creating friendships and learning people’s names and hopes and recognizing that we are deeply interconnected.

    Last week we explored a new community partnership with The Dwelling Place, a soup kitchen in Woburn, just eight minutes away from Epiphany. We had a crew of parishioners who cooked a wonderful meal for 45 guests on Friday evening and another crew of mostly youth serving the food on Saturday evening. It was a joy to see our 5th-12th graders leading the way, greeting guests, heating up food, and handing out coffee. We hope to continue to serve there as well as explore new local opportunities. If you know of any, please let me know!

    We continue to serve meals at St. Luke’s in Chelsea on the third Saturday of each month. Our Mission & Outreach committee meets on the third Tuesday of each month. We plan to volunteer regularly at the Malden Warming Center this winter, a place that offers overnight housing to the who need it. We have parishioners involved in prison ministry, housing for the Rawan family, education, creation care, food justice, and much more.

    I believe we are in an exciting season as a parish. You may have heard talks of discernment and dreaming together. Those conversations are happening for all aspects of Epiphany. There is much we do not know yet about what the future holds. What I do know is that the life of Jesus and the great commandments to love God and love our neighbor are quite clear. Whatever the future holds, I do know that it will involve new and meaningful ways of being in kinship and solidarity with our neighbors. This is how we encounter our shared humanity. This is how we encounter God.

    Dreaming and hoping — together!

    Rev. Janelle

  • May 04, 2023 3:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    YouTube thumbnail of Rev. Nick Myers standing in front of brick chimney

  • April 27, 2023 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Two Choristers rehearsing at Parish of the EpiphanyIt is now two weeks after Easter Day, and though not yet recovered from the Holy Week experience, or from a quick trip to perform in Maryland, I find myself immersed again in admin work, and the end of the season rapidly approaching. Amidst making plans for the choir’s joint Evensong with Christ Church-Andover IN Andover, our own Evensong  on June 4, and an upcoming Service of Ordination, I am also already booking musicians for Christmas Eve, Lessons & Carols, and for Easter Day 2024. It is surprising just how much of my job is serving as a booking agent, both for outside ‘guests’ but also our core group of volunteers! Yet, how exciting it is when all of the planning and preparation actually comes together; planets line up, and the Spirit takes over. If I take a mindful moment and reflect on this, I realize that what I want to say in this article is quite simple — thank you!

    Indeed, a very large Thank You goes to all who made the Holy Week and Easter Day services so meaningful and inviting. Many folks were involved, from the planning and preparation to the final execution, and I felt that the journey from Palm/Passion Sunday through Easter morning was offered with sincerity and had great impact both on those worshipping and also those participating. In particular, I’d like to thank the volunteer choir members and choristers, who so generously donated their time and talents. Many of the Parish Choir adults sang the entire Holy Week and Easter Day rota; those folks would have been ‘on duty’ in their vestments for approximately 16 hours that week (a part-time job!). After having sung on Palm/Passion Sunday, five of the eight young Choristers chose to also sing on Easter morning, and three of those five choristers sang both services— this is hardcore dedication at an early age!  Or, perhaps they just wanted the food, which reminds me to thank Marie Johnson for once again snapping her fingers and creating an amazing Easter Day brunch between the services.
    In closing, I’d like to list all of the volunteer singers who offered their time and talents during Holy Week/Easter, and to again say Thank You for a remarkable week together.

    Soli Deo Gloria,

    Leslie Aitken, Melanie Blake, Mary Lou Burns, Juliet Hollenbeck, Jennifer Khudairi, Mary Ann Marcinkiewicz, Margot Young

    Susan Almquist, Linda Davidson, Susie Kendall, Martha Lewis, Nelia Newell, Sara Post, Jenifer Tidwell, Jane White

    Allen Ernst, Corey Hollenbeck, Neville Lee, Frederick Spencer, Gabrielle Stott, Pierre Trepagnier

    Ron Almquist, Bruce Glabe, Josh Reynolds

    Josie Bing, Reagan Clare, Katherine Cumming, Ilario Faienza, Caleb Keith-Lucas, Bennett Myers, Zoe Rossettos, Mags Valdini

  • April 20, 2023 1:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Parishioners at 8am fellowship hour at Parish of the EpiphanyOne of the best kept secrets at Epiphany is the coffee hour after the 8am service. Ask any 8 o’clocker and they’ll tell you. It’s a beautiful expression of community. Instead of separating into groups at different tables, everyone sits at the same round table.

    “How does everyone fit?” You may ask. Well let me tell you. The table keeps expanding. Those around the table push their chairs out to expand the circle to make sure everyone is included.

    What a beautiful image for us during this Easter season. Being Easter people means seeking out community practices that bring life and hope. No one gets left out. The beauty of church communities is that they include all types of people. (Even some who might not be the first we’d choose to be friends with.) That’s a good thing! When you reach out of your traditional circle of friends to include others, you are embodying the love of Christ. We get to practice this together as a church community — which is good news for the world.

    I’m reminded of the hymn, Draw The Circle Wide. The lyrics go like this: “Draw the circle wide, draw it wider still. Let this be our song, no one (sits) alone. (Sitting) side by side. Draw the circle, draw the circle wide.”

    As the season is changing and there is literally new life popping out of the ground and growing on the trees, let us be seekers of new life in our parish community as well.

    Grateful for you all!

    Rev. Janelle

Location & Contact

70 Church Street
Winchester, MA 01890
Phone: 781.729.1922


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