My Visit to Madrona K–8
a reflection by the Rev. Doyt L. Conn, Jr.
I guess I’m having the back-to-school itch because on Monday, on my day off, I found myself up at Madrona K–8 school on a tour with Ms. Taylor. She was the first person I met as I wandered into the office to inquire about volunteer opportunities. “Why don’t I take you on a tour?” she suggested, and off we went.
As we walked she asked, “What brought you up the hill today?” “I just thought since we are neighbors, maybe there is something I could do to be helpful,” I replied. I didn’t tell her that in truth my soul was a bit dry in this cocoon of a self-satisfied life. I didn’t tell her that for years I had let my vocation be my excuse for not stepping beyond myself to help the stranger. I didn’t tell her that lately these words of Jesus have been rolling around in my head: “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” (Matt 5:46–47)
So yesterday I rang the doorbell at Madrona K–8 and spent the next thirty minutes fighting back tears as one child after another came up to Ms. Taylor for a hug. She knew them all by name. As we walked she told me stories. She told me about the young man leaving for an elite East Coast college this week. He graduated from high school in the spring, and Madrona K–8 was where he began his schooling. They kept him in kindergarten for two years, mistaking his reserved nature for a lack of intelligence. But he worked and he worked. Teachers and tutors noticed as his bright mind revealed himself. It takes someone to notice, I suppose.
Most of us were noticed. We notice our children. But I wonder, are there enough people noticing the young children at Madrona K–8 these days? What are the possibilities inherent in this situation? Maybe I could be helpful. Maybe I could be encouraging. At the very least maybe I could notice.
They have a garden that could use some volunteer help. There was a wish list of things the children would add to their playground if the resources were available. Art was everywhere, which is no surprise. The surprise is that teachers managing classrooms of 25 or more children had the time and energy to get the art up on the walls.
The last time I was at Madrona K–8 it was to celebrate Charley Bush as the recipient of the Tyrone Love Unsung Hero Award for Outstanding Service and Commitment to the Madrona Community. I thought of Charley as we peeked into the library. That is where he received the award. But Charley would tell you, I am sure, that the reward was doing all the things he did, not the award that was given to him because of those deeds. Charley’s soul was like a lush garden. Maybe doing some volunteer work at Madrona K–8 will water my soul. “As the deer longs for the water brooks, so my soul longs for you, O Lord” (Ps 42 para). When your soul is longing, reach out to a stranger.
The volunteer application has a list of things one can do at Madrona K–8. They are looking for a Frisbee football coach and a track coach. They need one-to-one tutors. They no longer have a choir. Ms. Taylor told me the music teacher left and they can’t find a replacement. I had visions of children walking from Madrona down to Epiphany after school to sing in the children’s choir. Imagine that! (One thing at a time, Doyt, one thing at a time.) Ms. Taylor also told me the children with special needs always could use a helping hand, as could their teachers. This coming year the special needs class is doubling in size.
I wonder what we could do as a church to notice the children at Madrona K–8. I wonder what impact we could have. I wonder if you would consider wandering up there and asking for a volunteer application. Or you can pick one up in the Parish office: I made copies!
When we meet Jesus face to face, and he looks into our eyes saying, “Thank you for welcoming me when I was a stranger,” and we reply, “When did I do that?” (Matt 25:37 para), maybe he will say, “It was when you wandered up to Madrona K–8, introduced yourself, asked how you could help, and took notice.”
Organ Dedication Recitals on September 11
Sunday, September 11, at 3 pm and 6 pm (Chapel)
Earlier this year, Epiphany Seattle installed a brand-new Pasi Organ, Opus 25, in the Chapel. In celebration of its long-awaited arrival and unique functionality, Epiphany’s artist-in-residence Carole Terry will perform two organ dedication recitals.
Organist Carole Terry is the Professor of Organ and Harpsichord at the University of Washington and a respected authority on 19th-century German organ music. She has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.
You’re Invited to Join the Music Guild
“The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”
—Johann Sebastian Bach
On behalf of the Epiphany Seattle Music Guild, I hope you have had the chance to attend at least one of our inaugural events and “refresh” your soul. It has been a very exciting beginning for our first season of the Epiphany Seattle Music Guild. The Launch Concert in May was spectacular, many have said world-class. A selection of the finest musicians in the region played works by Purcell, Handel, and other composers to a packed church. In July, the Epiphany Seattle Music Guild welcomed our new Hamburg Steinway piano, an anonymous donation by a member of our parish, with a solo recital given by Peter Mack. And just this past Sunday, Byron Schenkman and Friends put on a wonderful chamber music recital to a full house in the chapel. Over 100 people attended!
The Epiphany Seattle Music Guild was founded to assist in Epiphany’s outreach to our neighborhood and the greater Seattle area. We use the beautifully restored church and chapel, with their new, specially enhanced acoustical properties, as our performance spaces. We work in close collaboration with the standing music program at Epiphany and are truly blessed to have one of the finest Anglican music directors in the country, Thomas Foster. Tom is integrally involved both with the church’s music and the Epiphany Seattle Music Guild.
Our mission is to be one of the primary community outreach initiatives of the parish with a consistent program of top quality, soul-refreshing music. We are currently a small dedicated volunteer team focused on including others at Epiphany in an effort to continue to produce amazing musical events that bless our community, neighbors, and city.
As such, we would like to invite you to join us for our first members’ meeting. It will be September 18, immediately after the 11 am service, in the Christie House Library. Join us to hear more about the Epiphany Seattle Music Guild, and, if you are then so inclined, get involved in sharing the great music being made at Epiphany!
If you have any questions prior to the meeting, please contact me by email or phone at 425-943-1001. We look forward to seeing you on the 18th of September!
Executive Committee Member
Backpack Donations Due on Sunday, August 21
Help teenagers who live in YWCA transitional housing get ready for school! Epiphany has committed to supply 60 fully supplied backpacks for the new school year. How can you help? It’s easy!
- Click here for a complete list of what supplies go in each backpack.
- Purchase your donations and bring them to church on August 21. You can provide:
- A fully provisioned backpack, or
- Some of the items listed above, or
- A donation to help us pay for a backpack
- Email Ann McCurdy with what you will donate. This really helps us keep track and not have too much of one item and too little of another.
HELP US REACH OUR GOAL OF 60 BACKPACKS!
Brand New Midweek Minyan This Fall
CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEWS MINYAN
Who was Jesus? What do we really know? Why is the Kingdom of God central to his teaching?
Join us this fall in a small group studying the life of Jesus and the central role of the Kingdom of God in his teachings.
We will work through N. T. Wright’s on-line course Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters. Six of us tried out the course last spring and found that Wright is an exceptional writer and a wonderful speaker. We recommended that a small group be formed for closer study.
Wright uses historical and biblical material to answer the big questions that are always before us: Who was Jesus? What did he think he was up to? What did he do and say? Why was he killed? Did he rise from the dead?
Insisting that these questions cannot be answered except by understanding first-century Israel, Wright explains the stormy conditions at the time of Jesus. Roman military and cultural might collided with the thousand-year-old Jewish view of Israel as an actor on the leading edge of a continuing story. From Abraham through Moses and the Exodus, David and the kings, Babylonian Exile and return, Israel had firsthand experience of God. Their Temple had once been God’s dwelling, a place where Heaven and Earth intersected, but God left the Temple at the time of the Exile. By the time of Jesus, Israel was a place of political revolts, theological ferment, and a long-simmering expectation that God was about to return to the Temple. The Jews expected a Messiah who would be a warrior priest, a new David, to defeat foreign rulers, restore the Temple and establish God’s reign of justice in the world.
The Messiah did indeed come into the world but not in the form or manner expected. Wright shows that Jesus conformed to the ancient lessons of Scripture. Jesus believed, spoke, and acted as though God’s return was actually taking place in his ministry and in his person. He himself replaced the Temple as the residence of God. Further, Jesus acted as if he were in charge in the world and in heaven. It is easy to see why the political and religious establishments’ radar lighted up at his words and actions and put him to death.
After his death Jesus’ followers continued to claim and act as if he were in charge. Jesus had indeed launched the transformation of the world that Israel was expecting.
Wright unites history and theology into a single vision that resonates strongly with the message that we hear at Epiphany.
Join us on Tuesday evenings from 7–8:30 pm, beginning on September 13, for a twelve-week course. Our approach will be to read several chapters of the book, Simply Jesus, and watch related sections of the video on our own. We will devote the evening meetings to discussion of what we have read and watched. Although the pace of the course will depend on the wishes of the group, we expect to complete Simply Jesus in six to eight weeks. We will use the remainder of the time for another work, perhaps, John Ortberg’s Soul Keeping, Caring for the Most Important Part of You.
Please contact Steve Clemons or John Cary if you would like to join the group or have questions. The Rev. Kate Wesch can also answer questions. If you run into other members of last spring’s trial group, Todd Foster, George Moberly, and Tom Johnston, ask them about their experience with Simply Jesus.
—Steve Clemons & John Cary
Parish Prayer List
Sunday Lectionary Corner
August 21, 2016
Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Upcoming Events in the Life of Epiphany
This Week at Epiphany
August 21: Bring Donations for the Fall Backpack Drive
Every year, Epiphany collects backpacks and school supplies for teenagers who live at in YWCA transitional housing. Find out how you can help at epiphanyseattle.org/fall-backpack-drive.
August 28: Backpack Assembly Day and Everybody Hour Q&A
Epiphany’s donations of backpacks and school supplies will be delivered to the YWCA on Monday, August 29, so the day before, children, youth, and other volunteers will fill each pack in the Upper Room between services at 10 am. While the volunteers are working, parents and other adults are invited to a Q&A in the Great Hall with Elizabeth Walker to discuss the upcoming Everybody Hour format for Sunday mornings.
September 5: Office Closed
In honor of Labor Day, the Parish Office will be closed.
September 8: Choir Rehearsals Resume
Youth choirs and the adult Epiphany Choir will start weekly rehearsals to prepare for worship during the year. CITs meet at 4 pm. Choristers meet at 5:30 pm. Epiphany Choir meets at 7:30 pm. Find more information here.
September 11: First Sunday of Everybody Hour!
By now you’ve probably heard about the new schedule for formation programs at Epiphany, beginning this fall. (If you haven’t, there is a banner in the Narthex.) At 10 am, between morning services, there will be formation offerings for all ages. Find more information at epiphanyseattle.org/everybody-hour.
September 11: Fall Kickoff Picnic
Come celebrate the return of fall programming and rhythms with our annual picnic. We’ll have henna artists, a bouncy house, and, as always, amazing food for everyone! Join the fun after the 11 am service!
September 11: Organ Dedication Recitals
Our new Pasi organ in the chapel is ready to share its magic with our parish and the world. Carole Terry, Epiphany’s artist-in-residence and a professor of organ at University of Washington, will offer two performances at 3 pm and 6 pm on the chapel organ to show us what it can do. Note: the 5 pm service will take place in the church that day.
September 2–5: Retreat on the Meaning of Pilgrimage
The Rev. Jim Friedrich is a writer, photographer, and Episcopal priest who hiked the Camino de Santiago in 2014 and will be facilitating a retreat on Labor Day Weekend at St. Andrew’s House on the topic of the meaning of pilgrimage. More information here.
September 22: Fundraising Breakfast for Recovery Café
You are invited to an Education of the Heart, Friend and Fundraising event for Recovery Café, a refuge of healing and transformation for people traumatized by homelessness, addiction, and other mental health challenges. Learn more about their work on September 22 at 7:30 am at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. More information here.