Youth Perspective on Pilgrimage
a reflection by Tieran Sweeny-Bender
Place matters. Things happen because of where they started. In his book Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond suggests that the place that agriculture started could explain why Europeans were able to decimate the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Where things happen can have a vast impact on their outcome.
I was recently asked why I wanted to go to Israel, and at first I actually didn’t want to. I didn’t want to witness a city so important that millions had died for it. The division of Jerusalem, something I was sure to see, felt like a human construct, a blot on one of the most incredible places in the world. And yet God chose Israel to be the location of Jesus’ life. God chose Israel to infuse God’s essence into the DNA code so deeply that the person who was created was human and divine.
And that brings me back to intent. God must have had an intent, when God chose to send down Jesus into Israel. That place is so important because much of what I will see is a memorial to the result of God’s intent. I want to go—I need to go—because I need to be witness to the intent that God had when God sent Jesus.
As Christians we are called to carry out God’s intent, to be God’s hands in the world. We are called to be witness to God’s hands. Israel is a place where God’s hands are so at work that it is one of the holiest places on earth. To go to Israel is to see how God’s intent has been carried out, and also distorted beyond imagination. I will get to see beautiful buildings and art that commemorate God in the world, and yet I will be no more than a hundred miles from places where the name of God is being used to kill thousands of people. In going to Israel I am being a witness to how humanity has understood God’s intent and misunderstood God’s intent.
I want to go to Israel because I want to connect with the intentionality of Israel. I don’t know exactly what I will experience in Israel, and there is a chance that it will be completely different than I what I am expecting. The only thing I know for certain is that it will be my calling in Israel to be open to experience. I will expect one thing, be open to others, and trust that everything else will flow in.
Dear Lord, bless those who make pilgrimage, be it for the experience, for the insight, for the spiritual practice. Keep all pilgrims. Be they in Israel, the Camino, or right here in Seattle. In your name, amen.
Vestry Reflection on Construction
Every Tuesday evening I walk from my home on 31st Avenue down to Epiphany to meet my men’s group. I love this walk. Whatever stresses I’m carrying begin to fall away as I move through the neighborhood, cutting through the playground and by the shops on 34th, then descending my favorite stairways into quiet, green streets and finally down 37th to the beautiful Epiphany campus. Lately, the final bit of the walk has been a little disappointing. The gardens are just mud, and scaffolding mars the view. I can’t bound up the stairs; there aren’t any. I have to walk around. For a moment I am annoyed. Discontented. Obnoxed, even.
So I find another way in. Around through the path off 38th, by St. Francis’ new digs. Or through the upper garden. Even the “back door” off the parking lot. Habitual routes closed, I become an explorer. My curiosity is rewarded. I find new corners of campus, new sights, new experiences. I look out over the excavated garden, remembering its past and looking ahead to what it will be for us. I take pictures.
Construction seems eternal. We (all of us) dreamed up the Next 100 Years Project, raised funds to set it in motion, and got it rolling with prayer and action. So I want to move in! Enough with the waiting already!
If you’re impatient to turn to the next page of the story, as I am, then join me in embracing the adventure of the story that’s unfolding. The change—scaffolding and mud—is a glorious part of the story, told by skilled craftsmen working to turn our designs into our next hundred years. Explore the changing campus. Stand by a chain link fence, say a prayer, take a picture to save and rediscover in three years.
I look forward to exploring with you.
—Submitted by Wellesley Chapman for the Vestry
Gifts That Your Gifts Make Possible
A report by Holly Boone, Chair of Service & Outreach
Today as I write this, it is May 5, Cinco de Mayo. It is also the day of the Seattle Foundation’s Give BIG initiative. This morning I had the pleasure of making Epiphany’s gifts to several of our local outreach partners that were participating in Give BIG, thereby leveraging the Seattle Foundation’s pool of stretch funding. At last year’s Give BIG, the Seattle Foundation provided an additional gift of approximately 8% for every dollar donated.
These gifts are possible only because the people of this parish make generous gifts to Epiphany’s Service and Outreach ministries. Many thanks again to all who supported the Have a Heart fundraiser in February, contributed to Epiphany’s international ministries, or made a gift online through the parish web site. Total gifts to outreach ministries to date are running a bit more than $63,000!
How is this money being used? Outlays in the table below represent gifts made through May, 2015. Some organizations might be familiar to you, and some are receiving gifts from Epiphany for the first time. You can learn more about these organizations on the parish website: epiphanyseattle.org/community.
In addition to these gifts, some funds are being held in reserve for future expenses: Epiphany’s weekly Friday night shelter costs, weekly food bank expenses not covered by the Sunday Hunger Basket donations, anticipated holiday giving, and travel expenses that might be necessary for our international partnerships. Any unused funds at the end of the year will be used for further gifts where need is greatest.
In recognition for their service at Have a Heart, the Youth Group will also make a gift of $1750—5% of this year’s proceeds—to the nonprofit organization of their choice.
If you would like to add your own support to Epiphany’s service and outreach ministries, you can make donations any time through the parish website: epiphanyseattle.org/make-a-gift.
Parish Prayer List
Sunday Lectionary Corner
June 14, 2015
Third Sunday after Pentecost
1 Samuel 15:34–16:13
2 Corinthians 5:6–10, 14–17
Upcoming Events in the Life of Epiphany
This Week at Epiphany
June 14: Pilgrimage-in-Place – Youth Pilgrimage Celebration
During both services, we will celebrate and commission the group of teenagers participating in the Holy Land Pilgrimage. Each teen will receive Notes for a Pilgrim Soul and passports, and there will be time after the service to get for the rest of us to get our passports stamped, borrow books, and plan walks. You can follow their trip on their blog.
June 14: Newcomer Reception
If you have recently started attending Epiphany and would like to get to know some parishioners, join the Rev. Kate Wesch and other parish leaders for an informal social hour after the 5 pm service on June 14 in the Memorial Garden. Appetizers and light refreshments will be served. Children are welcome, but child care is available from 5–8 pm. RSVP to the Parish Office.
June 16: Companions in Caregiving
If you are a caregiver for a friend or loved one, you are invited to explore current caregiving issues in a supportive environment with others. Join us for lively, thoughtful, and supportive discussions on caregiving and the resources available to guide and inform the process. For more information, contact Kathryn Barrett our Parish Nurse.
June 17: Pilgrimage Movie Night – Walking the Camino
Join us in the Chapel at 7 pm for the documentary Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago, which follows different people on their pilgrimage through Spain. Read more about the Pilgrimage-in-Place here.
June 20: Pilgrimage-in-Place – North End Labyrinth
Join Susan Elek and others on a trip to the labyrinth at St. Alban’s Parish in Edmonds (21405 82nd Pl W). We’ll meet there at 2 pm and then walk around the neighborhood together afterward. Read more about the Pilgrimage-in-Place here.
Events Down the Road
June 25: Pilgrimage-in-Place – Teen Feed Dinner
Before cooking dinner at Teen Feed, walk around the University District and get a feel for the neighborhood. We’ll meet about 4 pm outside the University Congregational UCC. The regular volunteers will start cooking 5:30 pm, and all others are invited to join us for the meal and clean-up. Talk to Ann Beck or Ann Lockhart for more information. Read more about the Pilgrimage-in-Place here.
June 28: Fr. Joseph Constant Visits Epiphany
Father Joseph Constant, Doyt’s good friend from seminary, will preach at both services and speak at 11 am about the Haiti Micah Project, an organization he founded. Haiti Micah’s mission is to provide basic needs, medical care, and education to the poorest of poor children rescued from the streets of Haiti. Read more at their website.
June 29: EfM Information Session
Education for Ministry is a 4-year course of study led by a trained facilitator, Robin Mondares. A new class forms each fall and we are looking for new people for the upcoming class. If you are interested, join Robin at on Monday, June 29, at 6 pm in the Christie House Library for an information session.
June 13: Silent Retreat Day at St. Anne’s House of Prayer
Situated in Queen Anne, St. Anne’s charming setting and quiet surroundings offer an ideal venue for personal days of reflection, guided seminars, times of prayer and spiritual direction. On the second Saturday of every month, they offer quiet days from 9 am to 4 pm. Refreshments and lunch are included for a suggested donation of $50. Contact the St. Anne Parish Office to register. St. Anne’s House of Prayer also offers spiritual direction and facilitated contemplative prayer. Visit their website for more info.