Haiti and the Kingdom of God
The President’s comments about Haiti the other day gave me cause to reflect on my time there many years ago. It was during seminary, and I traveled there as part of a class titled “Reading James in Haiti.” Nine of us traveled together, including my best friend, Joseph Constant, who was born in and grew up in Haiti. My most enduring memory from this trip is how much we laughed. I have never in my life laughed so much, and that is saying something because I love to laugh.
Now to walk around Haiti is no laughing matter. I’m not sure if our President has ever been there, but to go there is to see and experience significant poverty. This shows up in many ways. There is litter that is associated with the lack of adequate funding for public services; there are poor roads and a clear lack of infrastructure investment and up-keep; there is a clear lack of employment; there are children begging who should, it seems, be in school. I could go on, but suffice it to say, Haiti doesn’t stand out as a model of communal organization or exemplary government.
Let’s pretend for a moment that magically you went to Port-Au-Prince and walked through the city without any people in it, and then you went to Washington DC and walked through the city without any people in it. After these two experiences, if you were asked which city you preferred, I am rather sure you would say Washington DC. I would. The measure would be cleanliness and architecture and infrastructure care, and all the other standards of affluence. We are a rich country, after all, and over the centuries have invested in buildings and monuments, some of which were built on the backs of slaves. Haiti’s history is just the opposite. Their history grows forth from slaves who in 1804 said “no more” to their slave master overlords. They rebelled, created their own nation, and some would say they have spent the next two hundred years paying for this, the first successful slave rebellion. If you’re curious about this, I suggest you read Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat.
And yet, never have I experienced such joy and laughter as I did while in Haiti. Joy! Flat out, loving, tangible, widely shared joy. This is the measure by which the Haitians live. They measure a person’s heart. They measure a person’s character, especially in the face of suffering, especially in the face of deprivation. Life is not about an empty city seen from the backseat of a chauffeur-driven SUV. Life is not about a 20,000 square foot penthouse decorated with opulent gold curtains and a meticulously carved mantel in which three people live, sometimes. Life is about people being with and loving people. That is what our deeply character-flawed President fails to understand. He missed, and he continues to miss, the very simple thing I experienced in Haiti, “In the Kingdom of God relationship is primary.” Not stuff; not achievement; not being tough; or being right, or rich, or pretty or even Norwegian.Life is about relationship, first with God and, from the spiritual health gained in that relationship, then with our neighbor. In Haiti, I experienced a rich, loving kingdom. I wish we could import more of the spiritual riches I experienced there to the United States.
Saying Farewell to the Foster Family
January 21 following the 11 am and 5 pm services
The Foster Family’s last Sunday at Epiphany is January 21. We will honor them during the Coffee Hour in the Great Hall following the 11 am service and at the Social Hour in the Chapel following the 5 pm service that day. Don’t miss this chance to say good bye to Becky, Aviva, Eli, and Todd!
Music Director Search Update: Candidates Visiting
The Music Director Search Committee is pleased to announce that we will have two candidates visit us separately on the last two weekends of January. We are excited about these candidates and have a full agenda for them for these weekends, including rehearsal time with our choirs, community visits, and leading our music at both the 8:45 am and 11 am services on each Sunday. We encourage members of the congregation to attend either of these services and coffee hour afterwards on January 21 and January 28 to see, hear, and meet the candidates in action as they act as the visiting Organist and Choirmaster on those days. Feedback forms will be provided during the services, and committee members will be on hand to answer any questions. Candidate names will be announced closer to their respective visits. A visit date for a third candidate is in progress of being scheduled. As always please let us know if you have any questions. The committee can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 28 at 10 am in the Great Hall
Every year on the last Sunday of January, we gather as a parish to affirm new leaders and representatives of our parish. The Nominating Committee will present nominations for the Vestry, convention delegates, alternates, and the nominating committee. As a parish we will vote on their installation. The Annual Meeting also includes “state of the parish” information from our Rector Doyt and the Vestry.
Meet The Vestry Nominees
Brooke Bascom joined the Epiphany community in 2011 with her husband, Wellesley Chapman, and daughters Zoë (13) and Elliott (11). Brooke has been involved with the small group ministry and Sunday School. Wellesley has been active on the Vestry, as a lay preacher, and as a Eucharistic Minister. Zoë is active in Choristers and both girls are involved in Sunday School and serve as acolytes. Brooke was raised in the Episcopal church in St. Louis, Missouri, and, after working in Washington, DC, and St. Louis, moved to Seattle with Wellesley. Brooke’s background is in public affairs, and she currently works for King County as the Employee Engagement Manager.
Sherilyn Peterson joined Epiphany with her husband, Rich Coyle, just after they were married in January 1986 in the Chapel. Their children attended Epiphany Parish and attended Epiphany School where Sherilyn previously served as a trustee. She has served on the Vestry previously and has been a long-time member of Altar Guild. Sherilyn serves on the Epiphany Parish/Epiphany School Campus Committee and was on the original joint committee that negotiated resolutions to numerous real estate and occupancy issues with the School in the early 2000s. When her children were young, Sherilyn taught Sunday School. She has also served as a lector and an usher. For more years than she can remember, she has headed up holiday drives for YWCA shelter families-Halloween items, Thanksgiving baskets, and Christmas Adopt-A-Family. She and Rich participated in the 2016 Epiphany pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Sherilyn graduated with a B.A. and J.D. from Northwestern University and is a (semi-retired) partner at Perkins Coie LLP.
Coleman Greene joined the Epiphany community shortly after relocating to Seattle from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in June 2015. Coleman and his wife, Courtney, have four (!) kids: Caroline and Mac (6), Elizabeth (4), and Tucker (under age 1). Coleman grew up in the Episcopal church in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama, participating in the youth ministry and serving as a mighty acolyte. He has worked in financial services and healthcare over the past ten years, most recently as founder of a digital health company. Coleman got his BS from Vanderbilt University and MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Phil Carter, along with his wife Jennie, began attending Epiphany Church in 1995. They have three children, all baptized here at Epiphany: Christina (21) and Lindsay (19) currently attend college, and Tyler (15) who is in high school. Phil was baptized in the Methodist church in southeast Texas. He has over the years taught Sunday School and been a lector, and he currently serves as an usher and participates as a host for the men’s Operation Nightwatch program. Phil is a graduate of the UW and is currently a managing principal for Wells Fargo Advisors FN in Seattle. He has also served in the past as a board trustee at Epiphany School and on the Epiphany Parish/Epiphany School Campus Committee.
Have A Heart
February 11, 2018
February 11 at 5 pm Epiphany Church
Choral Evening Prayer with Epiphany Choir
Have a Heart
February 11 at 6 pm Epiphany Great Hall
Epiphany’s Annual Party to Fund Parish Outreach
See Where the Holy Land Pilgrims Have Traveled on Epiphany’s Facebook Page.
SAVE THE DATE!
Epiphany Vacation Bible Camp
July 9-13, 2018 from 1-4 pm
Registration information coming soon!
Third Sunday After Epiphany
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Click here to view Prayer List