From Now To Eternity
A Reflection by the Rev. Doyt L. Conn, Jr.
As the specter of a North Korean nuclear warhead capable of hitting the United States becomes more and more real, I have been wondering about what life is like when lived under the shadow of death. During the Cold War the same dread fell upon us. I even remember hiding under my desk at Bamber Valley Elementary School for “drills.” I was never quite sure if they were Tornado or Russian bombing drills, but I hid. We all hid. Some kids cried. Some kids fell asleep. I remember wondering with my friends if Rochester (MN) would be a top target for the Russians. We had an IBM facility and the Mayo Clinic, and so we were pretty certain we’d make a top 50 list in the Kremlin. Then, over time, with solid relationship-building at the highest levels of Government, the fear of Russian aggression just sort of fell away. Now it seems that both the Russians and the U.S. have too much to lose to start firing off nuclear weapons. North Korea, on the other hand…
The nothing-to-lose life is the most dangerous and costly life of all. It is deeply self-centered. It has no higher accountability. It is isolated and lonely and resides in the echo chamber of its own thoughts. It is measured against historical legacy more than future opportunity. Death is the backdrop against which it works. There is no life after death and therefore no post-death accountability. There is no God and hence nothing to lose. I don’t know much about Kim Jong-un, but I suspect this describes his world.
So where does that leave us? Crying under our desk? Possibly. Or asleep under our desk? Maybe. But for Epiphany people, I pray it leaves us energized; for we are people that know that in order to fight fear we must love. The more fear there is, the more wild and abundant the love must be. Here is how love works: from one person to another person to another person. Love never stops, risking everything, ego and status and reputation, to be wildly present and deeply engaged. In the face of fear, love extends. Love seeks those in need.
I recently saw The Zoo Keeper’s Wife. This is a film about how a zookeeper and his family in Poland organized their life to save Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto. Love of the most vulnerable was their response to the power of the Nazi occupation.
The Psalmist says this:
Even though I walk through the valley of death,
I fear no evil;
For you are with me;
Your rod and staff they comfort me.
Here is my charge to you: In the face of evil spread love. In the face of fear worship God. Praise God. Thank God. Sing songs. Do beautiful things. Play with children. Teach them. Focus on the future. Yet be present enough to attend to someone and something other than yourself. Memorize prayers. Write poetry. Here is the bottom line: make sure there is no one within your reach that is living a nothing-to-lose life.
In the Kingdom of God, we can influence the entire world by how we love those within arms reach; even, I believe, Mr. Kim. But even if our cosmic reach doesn’t extend that far, it matters not. It is more rewarding to know that God smiles when we let our light so shine before all that they may see our good works and give glory to our God who is in heaven (Matt 5:16). And the gaze of God is a reward that stretches from now to eternity.
Living Stones: Saint Mark’s Cathedral
May 3 from 7 – 9 pm in the Great Hall
With Bishop Rickel and Dean Thomason
The Reverend Doyt L. Conn, Jr. and Senior Warden Holly Boone have invited our Bishop, Greg Rickel, and our Cathedral Dean, Steve Thomason, to an evening reception. All Epiphany parishioners are invited to hear their news on the important work underway at Saint Mark’s Cathedral.
A cathedral serves as the seat of the bishop and as a meeting place for all Episcopalians in a diocese. Our cathedral is the site for ordinations (such as Todd Foster’s in 2016), for diocesan confirmation services (90 were confirmed last year), for a variety of conferences and workshops, and for several collaborative ministry groups of which Epiphany leaders are a part. Saint Mark’s is also known as a community resource, serving more than 100 community non-profits who use the cathedral campus for meetings and events.
Saint Mark’s Cathedral was never completed due to the stock market crash of 1929. The work now underway includes limestone cladding of the exterior walls, replacement of nave windows, and a new entrance and elevator, all of which will cost just over $10 million. The cathedral parish has raised just over $8 million. Bishop Rickel is asking all parishes in the diocese, and their members, to consider supporting this campaign as a sign of the common bond we share as Episcopalians in Western Washington. RSVP to
New to Epiphany? Newcomers Event
April 30 at 6 – 7:30 pm at Doyt’s House
You are invited to a gathering with our rector and other leaders of Epiphany Parish. The reception will take place at Doyt’s house after the evening service on Sunday, April 30, from 6-7:30 pm. Beverages and appetizers will be available. On-site supervision for children will be provided. Your presence would be delightful! Please see Todd or Doyt for directions.
May 13 * 10 am to 3 pm
Saint Mark’s Cathedral – 1245 10th Ave. E
Come one, come all! It’s the annual celebration of the community of the Diocese of Olympia. There will be a ceremonial ground-breaking for the Capital Campaign construction. Carnival games, cathedral tours, food trucks-and much more! Fun for all ages, whatever the weather! For more information go to https://cathedral-day-2017.eventbrite.com.
Celebration of Life
Hommage à Duruflé
Soloists and Orchestra
Joseph Adam, organist
Sunday, May 21 at 5 pm
A Celebration of the music of Maurice Duruflé (1902-86), who is among the most important French composers of the 20th century.
This performance is made possible by the generous financial support of the Epiphany Music Guild. As a result, this concert is presented without charge.
Go to Epiphany Seattle Music Guild webpage epiphanymusicguild.org for more information.
Eucharistic Visitor Training
Loving others and sharing your presence are the very heart of the work done by Eucharistic Visitors. Going out in pairs (2×2), Eucharistic Visitors take relationship and the Lord’s Supper to share with others who couldn’t be in church. Many Eucharistic Visitors focus their ministry on the retirement community at Parkshore once every 2-3 months, but others minister more widely. If we are to continue this good work, we need your participation. Please come to a training for Eucharistic Visitors on Wednesday, 10 May, at 6pm, in the Fireside Room. We will enjoy a potluck meal together and talk about the things Eucharistic Visitors need to know. There is no obligation: bring your curiosity and find out what we do! If you have questions, please speak to Vicki Reed or Todd Foster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coffee Outgrowth from Alex Polson’s Magazine Ministry.
Accompanying Doyt to deliver Alex’s magazines recently, I spoke with Ms. Battles, in charge that morning at Peter’s Place, one of our magazine recipients. Peter’s Place, a homeless shelter on Rainier Avenue South, was warm and welcoming on that cold grey morning, full of men and women involved in spirited discussions and interactions. Ms. Battles explained that Peter’s Place offers some food – but then said sadly, “But no coffee – we haven’t got any coffee.” No one has donated any. Man of action that Doyt is, he said, “Well, we just need a coffee collections box next to the magazines box at the back of the church; we can deliver the coffee when we deliver the magazines!”
SO: please donate coffee to our box and to Peter’s Place. Doesn’t matter if it is ground or whole – Ms. Battles says any coffee will be SO welcome!
— Kim Street
Sunday Lectionary Corner
Third Sunday of Easter
1 Peter 1:17-23
Psalm 116:1-3, 10-17
Parish Prayer List
Click here to view Prayer List.
Film: Speaking of Dying
April 29 at 4 pm at the First Baptist Church
On Saturday, April 29, in celebration of the 2nd Anniversary of the film, Speaking of Dying, there will be a free screening at 4 p.m. at Seattle First Baptist Church. This 30 minute documentary, produced by Trudy James, shines a clear bright light on death and dying through the words and stories of patients, family members and medical providers. The film empowers viewers to learn more about their own end of life choices and desires. Following the film a panel of physicians and others who are in the film will answer questions. Trudy says “This film had its roots in my work in the AIDS community, and it has been a gift of grace.”
The public is also invited to an Anniversary Celebration Party and program following the film from 5 to 6:30 in the Fellowship Hall. Delicious food and drink, plus displays, handouts, and a program will be part of this fun fundraiser to benefit the Speaking of Dying film and end-of-life planning workshops.
First Monday Mental Health Group
May 1 from 7 – 8 pm in the Icon Room
This group meets the first Monday of the month for family members of people who live with mental illness.
Saturday, May 13
On Saturday, May 13, join your neighbors at the Madrona Mayfair! The parade lines up at Al Larkins Park at 9:15 am and proceeds, led by Charles the Clown and the Seattle Firefighters, to the Madrona Playfield. There will be all manner of entertainment for children, including bouncy houses, pony rides, face painting, and balloons. There will be lots of food, too, including popcorn provided by Epiphany! Come meet our neighbors, donate to the playground for Madrona School, and enjoy a fun Saturday morning. If you would like to help with the popcorn, please contact Todd Foster at email@example.com.