The Feast of Epiphany
Happy New Year!
For the Feast of Epiphany, coming this Tuesday, January 6, we have put together an evening of worship that seeks to honor all who have worshipped at Epiphany these past 100 years, and all who we hope will worship here over the next 100 years. We’d love you to be a part of this celebration!
This Feast of Epiphany will be special and different from other years. We will honor the space of the Chapel and Church by recalling, for those who worship here, the words and prayers that were offered when it smelled of new wood. The appearance of the Chapel and the Church are about to change, but the spirit within them will not. We are Epiphany, and we will continue to be Epiphany. By celebrating in the language of each era, we will pay respect to the past, marvel at all that has changed over time, and pray for all the changes that will come to pass in the near future. This Feast of Epiphany is about yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and I invite you to join us in this unique celebration.
We will begin at 6:15 pm in the Chapel, the space that has defined the character of worship at Epiphany from the very beginning. When the Chapel was opened, the 1892 Book of Common Prayer was in use, and so we will begin with that version on January 6.
When this service has concluded, we will have a short interlude as we move into the Church for the service of Holy Communion, Rite II. This choral Eucharist will stand, in all of its vitality, as the service that has set us squarely where we are today—a dynamic church in present-day Seattle.
Finally, we will follow a bagpiper out into the Christie House courtyard for a Tent Revival and symbolic groundbreaking. It may be a bit cold; in fact it may be snowing, so wear your warmest clothes and some boots. We will have heaters and the like, but please bundle up. In my heart, I hope it snows. When I arrived at Epiphany on the first Sunday of Advent in 2008, it was one of the snowiest Decembers Seattle had experienced in years. Together we will continue to weather any hardships set in our way, including the inconveniences of a 10-month renovation, and even grow more robust. We are the Church of Epiphany, and nothing can dim the light we shine upon the world.
You are my faithful friends, and I give thanks for our life together. May we continue to serve Christ vibrantly with our collective hearts and souls—this is our calling and our purpose as Epiphany today.
RSVP for the Feast of Epiphany celebration here. Registration is not required, but we’d like to get a headcount for the groundbreaking.
Tentative Construction Schedule
PHASE 1 Sunday Schedule
Jan 11–early May
9:30 am | Holy Eucharist Rite II in the Church
5:00 pm | Holy Eucharist Rite I in the Church
+TEC Sunday Forums
10:45–11:45 am | in the Church
Children and Youth
9:30 am | Children’s Worship in the Chapel
10:45 am | Children’s Formation
5:00 pm | Youth Group in Christie House Library
Church: The Far End of Luxury, Part 1
Below is an excerpt from a recent C.S. Lewis Minyan Discussion Note. If you are interested in joining the minyan, please email Jonathan Roberts. It meets every Thursday at 8:30 am in the Christie House Library. The minyan will resume on Thursday, January 8, with a discussion of G.K. Chesterton’s Everlasting Man. There are many copies of the book in the Christie House Library. It is an ideal time to join the minyan, and everyone is welcome.
In November, I spent three days down in sunny Miami visiting Elizabeth’s family and attending The New York Times‘ International Luxury Conference. I was there in my capacity as a travelling spouse, but also in the capacity of a “stranger in a strange land.” I felt like Dr. Ransom in C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, where Ransom visits Mars in Out of the Silent Planet and Venus in Perelandra. The first part of both journeys involves Ransom trying to figure out his surroundings, discerning who is good and who is bad, and discovering the operating principles of the planets. In my case, the aliens were the trendsetting luxury elite. The panelists and speakers fell into roughly two groups: one, the hip, happening millennials like rapper Will.i.am (don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of him either, but he has 100,000 Twitter followers, which makes him someone), and up-and-coming artist Brendan Lynch; and two, the older establishment types like the CEOs of the Four Seasons, Tod’s S.P.A., NYT’s Company, Kering, Intel, and Neiman Marcus, and luminaries like Iris Apfel and Diane von Furstenberg. While sitting in the audience and listening to these interesting presentations, I tried to map out my interpretation of the operating principles of the luxury market. I must admit, I was also doodling out my weekly notes for the C.S. Lewis Minyan’s discussion of George MacDonald’s Phantastes. Below are my reflections (of the conference, not Phantastes).
Richard Rohr’s book Falling Upwards came to mind as I was parsing my impressions of the younger and hipper presenters against the older and more established ones. Rohr, like Carl Jung and others, breaks life into two halves. The first half focuses on defining our identity, and the second half, if we mature, focuses on mystery and the soul. The presentations from many members of the younger set reflected a primarily adolescent society. It seems that Forever 21 is not only the name of a store, but the ethos of our culture. Presenters like Will.i.am and the Google Glass guy, Babak Parviz, were enamored with technology and the NOW. It reminded me of the saying, “Making great time, not sure where I am going.” Brendan Lynch, a well-known designer, commented that he is focused on the ascetic of the moment, as he is trying to figure out “what the now is all about”? One design he showed was a modern-day collage using “random streams of imagery” pulled from Tumblr. He felt this design captured the essence of today, as it reflected his view that “nothing means anything.” One social media expert on a panel said, “It’s a struggle to really reach audiences, since looking at rapidly changing images on a small screen doesn’t give a person enough substance to make a judgment at all.” The panel went on to talk about how people today “don’t want to consume, they want to participate,” and companies need to “shrink the distance between consumer and brand.” The other thing they stressed is that brands need to be “authentic.”
Finally, the key to giving luxury items the feeling of the Holy Grail is to achieve a sense of FOMO—that is, the Fear Of Missing Out. What a wonderful term! It really captured the essence of these presentations. All these hipsters with their technology, social media, and the ever present NOW, were intensely focused on creating a sense of insecurity amongst their potential customers. They want everyone’s noses voyeuristically pressed against the glass looking in at other people enjoying the good life while simultaneously challenged by the reality that the occasional purchase of some product or service has a half-life of about twenty-two seconds.
In my mind, there seemed to be tremendous contradictions within the presentations. How can you strive for authenticity if you believe nothing means anything? Isn’t authenticity based on something of value? I was also puzzled about how to have a real relationship driven by FOMO or envy. I guess they want to close the gap between the customer and themselves so they are better positioned to make the customer feel bad about themselves and consequently buy more goods and services. It is like one of those teen movies where a girl wants to hang out with the cool girls even though they make her feel bad about herself.
What comes to mind is the story of Cosmo’s Mirror found in George MacDonald’s Phantastes. You may recall Cosmo as the detached, smug young aristocrat living a disinterested life when he comes across an antique mirror in a second-hand store. It turns out that it is a magic mirror, and in the mirror he sees a beautiful princess who can see the surroundings in his room, but not him. Cosmo becomes obsessed by the princess, but since the image disappears from the mirror for large parts of the day, he wonders and then worries about where she goes when he can’t see her. His obsession turns into a jealousy that takes complete control of his life. Over time the princess comes to see Cosmo and tells him that she is under a spell. She tells him that he has the power to free her, and if he does so they can be together. All he has to do is break the mirror. But Cosmo hesitates in “selfish indecision.” Why? What does Cosmos really want?
Many of the hipsters on the stage and over the Skype call-ins had an air of Cosmo. They were a very self-satisfied, and had yet to discover their magic mirrors. The mirror isn’t something you find, it’s something you stumble across, and it morphs into something you never expected. It starts as an interest, becomes an obsession, and ultimately it destroys the holder or needs to be destroyed. These pre-mirror Cosmos were not in dire straits—after all, they had thousands of Twitter followers—but in my view, they are on a Cosmo trajectory. While they claimed to seek relationship, true relationship requires giving up some control. Like Cosmo they seem to want the thrill without the risk.
Read Part 2 in next week’s Weekly Word. The C.S. Lewis Minyan resumes on January 8 at 8:30 am in the Christie House Library.
The Feast of Epiphany and Groundbreaking Ceremony
We hope you’ve heard by now about the Feast of Epiphany celebration at which we will toast Epiphany’s next 100 years and set to work on renovating the buildings and grounds. We’re asking people to RSVP for the event just to get an approximate headcount, especially if you will be attending the reception in the courtyard, which will begin around 8 or 8:15 pm. Be sure to wear a warm coat and rain boots since we will be outside!
Bid on a Chapel Pew to Support Our Youth!
On January 6 at our Feast of Epiphany Celebration, we will auction off 20 pews and the Presider’s chairs from the Chapel. The top 20 bidders will get to choose their pew or Presider’s chair in order of bid amount. Email your bid to Laura Sargent at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 pm on January 6 or leave a form in the box in Doyt’s office on Sunday. The winners will be notified on January 7. Free local delivery for all bids over $750. If your bid exceeds $750 and you would like your pew resized, we can do that too!
All proceeds will go toward the Youth Pilgrimage Fund.
Please contact Laura with any questions.
A Note About Kitchens
Many of you know that Epiphany Early Learning Preschool (EELP) cooks 2 meals and 2 snacks in the Great Hall kitchen every weekday for 4 classrooms full of active young ones. Because the Parish Hall is closing, the EELP kitchen is moving over to Christie House for the duration of Phase 1.
What does that mean for Epiphany? For all intents and purposes we’re moving out of that kitchen, Monday–Friday, 8 am–5pm. We’ll still offer coffee during the day in Christie House, but we’ll be using paper cups and the coffee maker will be in the hallway.
We won’t have a refrigerator to store food in besides a small one for staff lunches.
Evenings and weekends we can use the kitchen, but we need to take extra care to leave it as we found it and manage our expectations.
Thank you everyone for your flexibility during this season,
Parish Prayer List
Sunday Lectionary Corner
January 4, 2015
Second Sunday after Christmas
Ephesians 1:3–16, 15–19a
Matthew 2:13–15, 19–23
Upcoming Events in the Life of Epiphany
January 4: Last Sunday with Two Morning Services
Eucharist services will be held at 8 am (Rite 1) and 10:30 am (Rite 2) for the last time until after Easter. During Phase 1 renovations, Eucharist services will be held at 9:30 am (Rite 2) and 5 pm (Rite 1).
January 6: The Feast of Epiphany Celebration and Groundbreaking
Come to all or part of our annual eponymous feast of Epiphany celebration. The final reception and toast will happen outside in the courtyard under tents and heat lamps, but be sure to wear coats and rain boots anyway. Also, bring a bottle of champagne to share! Click here for more details.
January 8: Phase 1 Renovations Begin on the Parish Hall
The Parish Hall will be inaccessible to non-construction activities after January 7. In addition, the Howell Street entrances to the St. Francis Garden will be closed and blocked by a construction dumpster. Enter Christie House and the Lower Chapel from 38th Ave. Click here for more details on what to expect.
Events Down the Road
January 11: Baptisms
If you would like to be baptized or to have your child baptized at the 9:30 am service, contact Kate Wesch.
January 11: New Sunday Schedule Begins
9:30 am | Holy Eucharist, Rite 2 (Church) & Children’s Worship (Chapel)
10:45 am Hour for adults (Church) and children
5:00 pm | Holy Eucharist, Rite 1 (Church) & Youth Group (Christie House Library)
January 11: +TEC Sunday Forum – Why I’m a Christian
Join Doyt for a presentation on faith at 10:45 am in the Church. This is the first forum during Phase 1 renovations.
January 11 & 18: Children at Epiphany – Worship, Formation, and Parenting in the Kingdom
All adults are invited to this presentation and discussion about children’s programming at Epiphany. On January 11, Elizabeth Walker will give a presentation that includes a look back at our fall Children’s Ministry program and then a look ahead at our plans during construction, including Children’s Chapel and Formation Hour. Anyone—parent, grandparent, or parishioner—who is interested in our Children’s Program and how you can be a part of it, is invited and encouraged to attend. January 18 will be a more open discussion led by Rev. Kate Wesch about other programmatic and parenting questions and quandaries. All are welcome.
January 25: Annual Meeting
At the Annual Meeting, we vote on nominees for the Vestry, Nominating Commitee, and Convention. Click here for information on the meeting and the nominees.
January 31: Celebrating St. Hildegard
On Saturday, January 31 at 8 pm in the Chapel at St. James Cathedral, Erika Chang is singing with the Medieval Women’s Choir, performing a special presentation of “Alta Voce.” Ticket information at medievalwomenschoir.org.