Ask Not What the Priest-in-Charge Can Do for You…
A reflection by The Rev. Kate Wesch
If you haven’t noticed, Doyt Conn has departed for his grand sabbatical adventure. He is somewhere in Hawaii, or Greece, or the Holy Land, or maybe halfway up Mount Rainier about now, I’m not exactly sure.
You good people of Epiphany are quite lovely and so very supportive. Nearly every day someone asks me one of these questions, “What can I do to help you?” “How is it now that Doyt is gone?” or my favorite, “How does it feel to be in charge?”
I’ve come up with answers to these questions and you’ve likely heard them by now. If not, I’ll repeat them here. Let’s see, what can you do to help? Here are three ideas of ways you can help:
First, you can pray. Pray for me. Pray for Doyt. Pray for the staff. Hold the Epiphany community, the Building Team, the Vestry, your fellow members of this parish in your daily prayers. This is a time of transition and change and that can be hard. So, hold Epiphany in prayer.
Second, know that if I need you, I’m counting on being able to call on you. I don’t know what that might be, but it could happen. We should just expect the unexpected at this point, like worshipping in the Epiphany School gym for a period of weeks, or maybe even under a big tent in the courtyard, all of this until the Great Hall is complete and ready for us to move in just before Doyt’s return in August. We have some big moving, cleaning, sorting, and organizing projects to take care of as well, as we transition from Phase 1 of construction into what we are calling “The Overlap” period in June and July, and on into Phase 2 in the fall. We are going to need some help. That’s the second way.
And third, come to church. Whether we are worshipping in folding chairs under a basketball hoop with Tom Foster playing a synthesizer in the corner or under a big tent in the courtyard, or in the Chapel at 5pm with plywood in place of the large window–whatever state of transition and dislocation it may be, come to church.
That is how you can help.
This is a wonderful time for us to be reminded of what church truly is. Church is not a building. The church is us, the people. And we can be the church in a gym, in a courtyard, in a Chapel under construction, or even in a parking lot. WE ARE THE CHURCH.
And before I forget, there is one more fantastic question in comment form that I keep hearing. “Well, you must be tired having to work so much more now that Doyt is gone.” This is one that I know my co-workers are hearing too. Great assumption! It’s true, with Doyt gone, we are stepping up and filling in, making sure nothing slips through the cracks, but I’ll let you in on a secret. Things are pretty much continuing at Christie House as they have always been with the staff working hard as a team, counting on your prayers and support just like usual. Meetings may be a little shorter. The phones are ringing a little less. But other than that, the Monday to Friday workings of the staff go on as usual and that’s just as Doyt would want it to be.
Additionally, our Ministry Leaders and various ministries are continuing as usual. We have so many volunteers who work right alongside the staff to run this place. Fun Fact: Did you know that Holy Week alone happened thanks to the contributions of more than 240 people, parishioners and staff, giving of their time, passion, and desire to develop spiritually just to pull it all together?
This is a grand adventure. When it’s all said and done and we are in our new, beautiful, acoustically perfected, adequately lit worship spaces, you will have bragging rights. You will have war stories. You can say, “Remember that crazy summer when the rector was on sabbatical and the buildings were torn up and we had to have church in the gym?” And someone else will say, “I even remember having church outside under a tent for a few weeks. That was really fun.” And the kids will remember it for the rest of their lives because it was so different.
So, that’s what I need you to do: pray, answer the call to help when needed, and come to church. This is our Epiphany Grand Adventure 2015 and a time to remember that we are the church.
My Monastic Journey
A reflection by David Olsen
During Lent, I had the opportunity to offer a homily at Evening Prayer on these scriptures: Psalm 51:10–17, Jonah 3:1–10, and Luke 11:29–32.
My theme for the meditation was conversio or converstatio morum. And yes, I offered the translation of the Latin to mean “conversion” or “conversion of faithfulness to monastic life,” which is why I am writing this reflection on a Sunday afternoon following Doyt’s sermon about being on the right trajectory towards the mountain. Just to be clear, I am NOT going to be climbing Mt. Rainier; I will leave that to Doyt and maybe he will take some excellent photos to share with the rest of us. I believe that we have other mountains to climb.
In my meditation, I gave a bit of my history. I was studying for the Catholic priesthood when I met the Benedictines at St. Meinrad Archabbey where I was studying for the Diocese of Phoenix in Arizona. I wound up entering St. Leo Abbey in Florida and then returning to St. Meinrad to start my studies in theology. Due to issues in our house, I left the monastic life, but in many ways it never left me.
When Rob and I came to meet with Peter about our wedding here at Epiphany, we talked at great length about spirituality, mainly mine. Peter suggested that I look into a “third order”—an association of people who participate in the good works and spirituality of a monastic order but don’t take the same vows. Peter particularly suggested the Franciscans, but my thought process went away from the Franciscans very quickly. It made me think that if there are Third-Order Franciscans, there must be other orders, and yes, there are! I found the Companions of St. Luke, Order of St. Benedict.
Needless to say, I contacted them, and last May I went to their convocation, which is held twice a year at Conception Abbey in Conception, Missouri. It is a Catholic Benedictine monastery, and they provide the Companions with a chapel, and we used their guest house as our monastery while we were there.
The Companions of St. Luke (CSL) are a mixed community of men and women, of professed and oblate members, that follow the Rule of St. Benedict and live in what is called a dispersed monastic community. We have members across the United States and several in England as well.
I have spent the last six months going through a discernment process, which involved reading a list of books, writing a reflection paper on each one, praying the Office on a daily basis, and spending time in meditation reflecting on the Gospels and the reading list. I have one more book to read, which I have just about completed and then a final reflection paper to write on it.
I will be travelling to Conception again this May when I will be admitted to the novitiate, working my way towards Solemn Vows as a Benedictine within the Companions of St. Luke. My novitiate is two years, followed by three years as a junior professed monk. At the end of the five years, I will be a solemnly professed member of the community if all goes on the trajectory that I have set for myself, responding to the call of Christ. Just as Doyt said the extra 10 minutes led him to the priesthood, the nudge from Peter and that extra ten minutes has brought me to enter the CSL community.
The Rule of St. Benedict is all about listening: listening to the Gospels, the Rule, one another, and the world around us. We pray the Divine Office four times a day and spend time in lectio (reading the Gospels and/or other books relating to spirituality) and meditation.
When I return you will see me wearing a Benedictine habit at liturgical events and other events around Epiphany campus. This is the outward sign of my monastic commitment and reminds me of my service and how I answer the call that I have heard. It is all about listening to the word, converting it into action which for me is a conversion of faithfulness to a monastic community.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask, as I will be happy to answer them.
—David Olsen (soon to be David Holversen)
Donate to the Flower Fund!
Any time during the year, except for the Seasons of Advent and Lent, you can remember a special person or event by donating to the Epiphany Parish Flower and Liturgy Fund. Perhaps you would like to acknowledge the birth of a baby, a marriage, or a loved one now departed with a message in our Sunday service bulletins. After services, the flower arrangements are then shared with parishioners in need of encouragement.
Donations of any amount are welcome. Click here to download the form.
You can also give online by clicking here, scrolling down to “General Offering,” and entering an amount in the “Liturgy/Flower Fund” box.
Save the Date for the Annual Parish Camping Trip
Saturday, August 1 (around 2 pm)–Sunday, August 2 (the weekend of the Blue Angels show in Seattle)
Join us at Belfair State Park on the Hood Canal for a weekend of camping, kite-flying, beach exploration, and other fun-filled activities. Enjoy a communal dinner on Saturday evening and a pancake breakfast and prayer service on Sunday. If you’d like to come, email Mark Rossow to reserve your spot ideally by May 1. We always have a great time together!
Join Your Kids for Chapel on April 26
Parent Sunday is next Sunday, April 26 at 9:30 am in the Chapel. This is an opportunity for parents who haven’t been involved in Children’s Chapel this year to see what the kids have been up to during the morning service. The kids will be leading the prayers and reading the scriptures; parents have only to sit, participate, and enjoy, just like the regular church service.
Children’s Chapel will end for the summer on Trinity Sunday, May 31. If you would like to come visit on another weekend, just let us know.
—Elizabeth Walker, email@example.com
An Update from the Building Team
Since the construction schedule update we announced two weeks ago, we have put together an infographic for where and when we will be worshipping until construction is completed. Please note that the Chapel will not be closed until the Parish Hall is completed.
The Next 100 Years Building Team
Ed Emerson, Laura Blackmore, Bob Barnes, Jim Marlow, Ben Bradstreet
Contact the Building Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parish Prayer List
Sunday Lectionary Corner
April 26, 2015
Fourth Sunday of Easter
1 John 3:16–24
Upcoming Events in the Life of Epiphany
This Week at Epiphany
April 26: Pilgrimage-in-Place – Visio Divina at Epiphany
Join Diana Bender in exploring different experiential approaches to prayer and methods for engaging faith in the midst of a variety of life change, large and small, at 5:15 pm in the Christie House Formation Office (2nd floor). Contact Diana for more details. To find out how to track your pilgrimage miles for this event, visit epiphanyseattle.org/pilgrimage-in-place.
April 30: C.S. Lewis Minyan Starts a New Book
If you’ve been wanting to join the C.S. Lewis Minyan led by Jonathan Roberts, now is a great time because they are beginning a new book together next week. What book, you ask? Show up to find out! They meet on Thursdays at 8:30 am in the Christie House Library. Contact Jonathan with questions.
Events Down the Road
May 3: Pilgrimage-in-Place – Compline at St. Mark’s
Join the Interior Pilgrimage in Community group for a quiet, meditative service of music and prayer at 9:30 pm at St. Mark’s Cathedral. Contact Diana Bender if you would like to attend. To find out how to track your pilgrimage miles for this event, visit epiphanyseattle.org/pilgrimage-in-place.
May 4: Jana Riess Speaks at Epiphany
Jana Riess, the author of Flunking Sainthood, is coming to Seattle on a book tour and will be stopping at Epiphany to talk about being an “Epic Fail Christian.” Jana Riess is an editor in the publishing industry, formerly of Publishers Weekly, primarily working in the areas of religion, history, popular culture, ethics, and biblical studies. Join us at 7 pm in the Chapel. The Cathedral Shop will be on hand selling books.
May 15–17: Living with Purpose – Epiphany’s Annual Women’s Retreat
You are invited to join other women of Epiphany for a weekend to talk about what it means to engage our senses along the spiritual journey-whether that means paying attention, getting lost, encountering others, saying no, feeling pain, being present, or pronouncing blessing. We hope you can join us. Registration is now open. Cost is $225 and scholarships are available. Click here for more info.
May 6: Walls Lecture at SPU – Experience and the Knowledge of God
Communities in the Wesleyan tradition have tended to follow John Wesley in valuing both the head and the heart, yet many believers sense a tension between them. This lecture given by Dr. Douglas Koskela, Associate Professor of Theology, will explore the place of spiritual perception in Wesley’s understanding of how one comes to embrace the Christian faith. Click here for more information.
May 7: Racial Justice Lecture at SU – Why #BlackLivesMatter Should Matter for Everyone
Chris Crass writes and speaks widely on anti-racist organizing, feminism for men, strategies to build visionary movements, and creating healthy culture and leadership for progressive activism. Click here to for more information. Click here to for more information.
May 30: Baseball with the Bishop
Join Bishop Rickel and your fellow Episcopalians for a night of baseball and family fun at Cheney Stadium and to watch the Tacoma Rainiers beat the Round Rock Express. Enjoy a pregame buffet in the Backyard BBQ pavilion, located at the end of the first base concourse, at 4 pm. The game starts at 5:05 pm. Tickets are $25.50 and available here.