Click here to help those affected by hurricane Harvey.
Hurricane Harvey: A Personal Dispatch
by Holly Boone
My brother Gehrig lives in Dickinson, Texas, a little town just down I-45 between Houston and Galveston. For hours this past Saturday he stood knee deep in floodwater keeping the storm drain next to his driveway clear of debris. My sister and I texted him several times that day. We were relieved it appeared that his family wouldn’t have to evacuate. (Evacuation presents its own kind of misery: when Hurricane Rita hit the Gulf in 2005, my sister-in-law Carla and two nieces, then eleven and nine years old, spent thirteen hours in inescapable gridlock on the freeway; that time they lost only a freezer full of food when the power went out.) But Sunday morning we got this message: “Flooded, lost it all…cars everything. Packing, waiting on rescue, called 911.”
The four of them-Gehrig, Carla, niece Jessie, and her boyfriend Cody-were finally rescued late that afternoon from their attic by a man who had driven his fishing boat all the way from Galveston. He deposited them on a nearby I-45 overpass, where a family friend was able to pick them up in his high-wheeled pickup truck. They eventually reached the relative safety of Carla’s parent’s house, which had taken on only three inches of water.
Sunday afternoon I watched CNN’s Ed Lavandera tour around Dickinson in a bass boat. Water was almost to the eaves of some houses. A glimpse of a street sign in one of the videos told me that my brother’s house was only a few blocks away.
Now multiply this story-and stories much worse-by the hundreds and hundreds of thousands. I am thankful that my brother had flood insurance, and my sister and I can help his family get back on their feet. But others are not so lucky. If you feel moved to help families in Harvey’s path, please consider donating to the American Red Cross, www.RedCross.org; Episcopal Relief and Development www.episcopalrelief.org/; or to the Greater Houston Community Foundation, www.ghcf.org. Thank you! This is just the beginning of the slow-motion, long-lasting disaster now unfolding in the Gulf.
Seeing The Deeper Reality Of God In These Tempestuous Times
There is a temptation in these tempestuous times to look for the balance, to wonder about the yin and the yang of things. There is a temptation to look at both sides of an issue, and to in reasonableness, say, “It takes two to tango.” There is a temptation to say there is no provocateur without a reactionary, there is no charge if there is not both proton and electron, there is no right without a left, or no alt-right without an alt-left.
I understand this propensity to seek the balance, because as students of the Kingdom of God, we know that equitable relationship is one of the operating principles within the Kingdom of God. God gave us algebra and marriage, not to mention physics and acrobatics (to name a few), to learn that balanced relationship is important for living well in the Kingdom of God.
And yet, if that is all the deeper we go, we get caught in the trap of polarized thinking. The Kingdom of God principles sought, understood, and applied without the reality of God’s presence behind them, can be turned in upon the souls of humanity, causing division and strife. That is the tempter’s work: taking the reality of creation and perverting it just a bit, to the diminishment of our relationships. Strife and division and fear, fear of the other, is sown. It is the other who becomes the opposite and then the enemy, and when they become the enemy the trap is sprung. We have forgotten God, and in doing so turned the yang, the electron, the left, into the enemy, as opposed to a piece of the whole. Our perspective has been diminished as we are drawn into the mud, where we get stuck fighting the bad guy instead of praising the God who made us to see as God sees. There is not a person walking this earth who was not made by God, in God’s image, for purpose, and with love.
We are a royal priesthood; created to understand the operating principles of the world as God made it and to see this world from God’s perspective. Without this Godly perspective, these divine eyes, we are small, fearful, combative, self-centered little beings. We are brittle beings seeking the balance without praising the unifying God who made it so. We become ugly, isolated, and aggressive.
What are you doing, my Epiphany friends, to see from God’s perspective? In these tempestuous times, how are you perceiving the kingdom balance and then settling into the deeper reality that it is still all God? How are you smiting the devil?
These are the days when worship becomes more and more a critical necessity for the life of the community. These are the days when we must gather on Sunday, standing and sitting and kneeling with our neighbor, allowing our souls to mingle, acknowledging that we are one in the beauty of holiness. And as you worship, I implore you to pray that your neighbor is nothing like you. Pray that they are a democrat or a republican. Pray that they love Barack or Donald. Pray that they prefer cats, knowing in your heart that you prefer dogs. Pray that they are yin to your natural proclivity for yang. You get the point.
Love the need for balance as you, shoulder to shoulder, acknowledge together the deeper reality of the unity of God. Only worship does this. Only worship. Why? Because only by our actions are the true measure of our beliefs made known. Lip service is not an operating principle in the Kingdom of God.
As the Psalmist writes: “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; let the whole earth dance before him.” Come dance before God. Come touch the deeper truth that there is one God. God alone is the creator; and this beloved God made us all with the capacity to see the world with divine eyes.
Epiphany’s “Farmers Market”
We have been harvesting our Epiphany Garden outside the church entrance and had offered the bounty to all for a donation. Carrots sold out immediately. Donations for this fabulous, fresh produce, grown on Holy Ground, are matched with funds benefiting our parish food-bank out reach. We had donations of $25.45 on Sunday,$8 on Sat. and the previous week $7 for a total of $40.45 matched = $80.90 for the food bank!
We will keep working on donations and enhancing messaging to the parish . . . the 80 plus dollars will buy a lot of fruit which Holly says they wanted this year. Also there were previous donations and matches, these are just the latest!
Look for us at the September 10th Kickoff Picnic!
Epiphany’s Urban Farmers,
Dan, Tyler and Alice
Thank You for Your Service of Love and Justice!
Dear Epiphany Parishioners,
Thank you for participating in a summer extravaganza of service both globally and locally! On a global level, you demonstrated your heartfelt dedication to care for Syrian refugees through a partnership between Epiphany Parish and a humanitarian aid organization called SCM Medical Missions.
Our Epiphany VBC campers carried out this partnership as part of a summer youth service project. Our 50 church campers from preschool to fifth grade teamed up to create 100 hygiene kits. These kits were designed to provide aid and comfort to Syrian refugees undergoing the challenges of displacement. In addition to meeting basic human needs, our children drew pictures of their families for a personal touch. They used colorful markers, construction paper and glue sticks to paste paper hearts onto paper cut out hands. These hearts and hands symbolized love and justice. They shared small toys with the Syrian refugee children in the form of care packages. Finally, they included an assortment of vegetable seed packets to provide food sustenance for the refugee families. In these ways, our campers helped plant seeds of hope and build solidarity with our Syrian neighbors. Many thanks to Epiphany families and parishioners alike for generously sharing your time and resources to help instill the value of service for our youth. Here is a link to view photos and learn more about this meaningful, international service project.
Once again, you demonstrated equal care toward serving our local neighbors through our recent YWCA backpack drive. This annual service project is designed to support homeless teens as they prepare for back to school. We set a high bar this year. We joined together as a parish committed to providing 100 fully provisioned backpacks for our local community. You not only met this 100 backpack goal, but exceeded it by 23! Your outpouring of support represents some of our highest values. We believe in making education accessible to all people from all walks of life. These backpacks symbolize our dedication toward bridging academic achievement with economic justice for each student. Above are photos with some of our Epiphany parishioners engaged in this intergenerational service project. I wish to express my deepest gratitude to all of you for participating in this backpack drive to benefit our homeless teens. You are helping to make this educational vision a reality through your generous, compassionate service. Thank you!
The Reverend Jennifer D. Alviar
Jennifer DeBusk Alviar is an ordained, interfaith minister who earned her MDiv degree at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, California. She currently serves as the Seattle Volunteer Coordinator for Doing Good Together. Doing Good Together™ (DGT™) is a nationwide nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to empower families to raise children who care and contribute. When families volunteer together, they teach their children generosity, kindness, compassion and civic engagement. This service-minded practice turns big-hearted kids into strong, future leaders. You can reach Jennifer here and learn more about her other service projects through her recent blog at The Riveter, a co-working space designed for women, work and wellness.
Women of Epiphany Mini Retreat
September 9 from 9 am to 11 am in the Fireside Room
Join us for Scripture readings from the Forward day by day. Also, there will be coffee and good foods; lively conversation and fellowship. Start the Fall with fellowship.
All are welcome.
Annual All Clean Day
September 9 from 10 am to noon
All Clean is an opportunity to come together with other parishioners and spruce up our campus in anticipation of Fall Kickoff Sunday the next day. There is silver to be polished, dusting and light maintenance work to be done, windows to be washed, and much much more! Come help us get the campus sparkly clean and looking its best. This promises to be a fun time of fellowship and service. Lunch will be served to participants at noon. Please email Diane at email@example.com to volunteer.
SAVE THE DATE!
Fall Kickoff Picnic
September 10 – 12:15 pm in the
Reconnect with old friends and meet new ones.
Gumbo provided by Blueacre Catering * Bouncy House * Henna Tattoos
Opportunity to pick up your nametag ($5.00) or order one * Pictures taken for the directory * Get Church Life on your phone (our online calendar and directory)
Epiphany Parish baseball caps and grocery bags will be for sale
Fall harvest vegetables from the Epiphany garden will be available for donation.
Don’t miss it!
Can you help?
Need food items and volunteers!
– Mac and Cheese for children (4 large dishes)
– Sliced vegetables (2-3 platters)
– Fruit salad (2-3 dishes)
– Pasta Salad (3-4 dishes)
– Egg Salad and other side dishes (5-6 dishes total)
– Key Lime or Lemon Pie (6 pies total)
– Brownies (no nuts please)
– 2 volunteers from 8:30-9:30 AM
– 2 volunteers from 9:30-10:30 AM
– 2 volunteers from 12:30-2:00 PM
Email firstname.lastname@example.org on how you can help. Thank you.
Safeguarding God’s People
September 16 – 9 am to noon in the Great Hall
The Diocese of Olympia takes its responsibility for the safety of our people seriously. The Safe Church program teaches how to identify and prevent abuse within the church community, and is conducted several times per year, free of charge. Safeguarding God’s People is part of the Safe Church Program All clergy members, diocesan team members, and people in leadership (Vestry and Bishop Committee Members), all Eucharistic Visitors, and all paid staff in our congregations are required to take the training. Any other interested parishioners are encouraged to participate in training sessions. Certificates are valid for five years and then re-training is required. To register, contact Diane Carlisle at email@example.com.
20s and 30ish at Epiphany
September 22 from 6 pm to 9 pm
Tim Drewes, our beloved Music Associate has accepted the call as Director of Music at St. Andrew’s Parish. We are thrilled for him in his new post but we are also sad that he will be leaving Epiphany Parish. Whilst at Epiphany Tim has shared in the playing of Sunday Eucharists and accompanied the choirs beautifully over the last three years. Please join us on Sunday, September 3rd at the 7:30, 8:45, & 11 am Eucharists to express our deep appreciation for Tim and to wish him well on his new endeavors at St. Andrew’s.
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
Click here to view Prayer List.