A Reflection by The Rev. Todd Foster
This weekend we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. “Pente” means 50: it has been 50 days since Easter. This is based on the Jewish celebration of “Shavuos,” which means weeks: it has been a week of weeks (7 weeks) since Passover. There is a sense of completion in this period of time. Likewise, the work of Jesus on the cross happened on Easter weekend, and the Easter season was a brief foretaste of heaven as the disciples interacted with the resurrected Christ. But then came the Ascension and, a few days later, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The first day of Pentecost began a whole new age in the community of humankind.
We live still in the era of Pentecost: that time when most of us, most of the time, don’t see the resurrected Christ except as the Holy Spirit enables us to see him in one another. Indeed, it is through us that God chooses to be present to us, to God’s church and to God’s creation. Even as Peter and the disciples began to proclaim the resurrected Christ to their community, that is our task as the baptized in Christ.
One thing you’ll note in the account of the first Christian Pentecost (Acts 2) is that the disciples were not out on the street corners proselytizing. Read it again! It is only after their friends and neighbors witnessed the amazing things God was doing in their midst that those same friends and neighbors asked, “What is going on? What makes you different?” The disciples answered simply, from their hearts: it is God who is doing this among us, and it is Jesus who taught us to engage with God’s loving presence. (Peter made a whole sermon out of it!)
Living life in light of the Resurrected Christ is just that: life. It’s the life you’ve always known, but one in which you are invited to live free of the fear of death, free of the fear of rejection, free of the fear of not being good enough. Jesus is alive. That means you are loved. It means you are enough.
This is good news. Not “good news – you get the afternoon off school to go to the dentist.” It’s more like “good news – I can’t wait to tell you!” A life lived well is proclamation of the Gospel and invitation to everyone who sees it. Words are optional. Your life itself can invite questions and meet them with a gracious, invitational answer: “Come and see!”
Sunday is one of the four Sundays set aside in the church year as being particularly appropriate for baptisms. This Sunday we will celebrate the baptism of Tucker James Greene, son of Courtney and Coleman Greene, during the 11.00 service. Tucker will be added to the number of those who claim a life without fear. Come and see!
Sunday will be Tom Foster’s last Sunday with us as our Music Director. Words have been said, tears have been shed, and wine has been drunk. But we will continue to celebrate Tom Foster throughout the day and especially at an all-parish brunch during the 10.00 Everybody Hour. Come and see!
Sunday is a red-number day on my liturgical calendar. It’s a good day to wear that red number you’ve been saving. Everyone is invited to wear red in celebration of the tongues of fire that descended on those early Christians and which continue to dance in our hearts. Even the priests and the altars will be wearing red vestments. Come and see!
Pentecost First Sunday Brunch:
One Last Goodbye to Tom Foster!
June 4 at 10 am in the Great Hall
Come to Everybody Hour to enjoy brunch, share some festive treats, and celebrate Tom Foster’s ministry among us. As this is Tom’s final Sunday with us at Epiphany, we will honor and celebrate him all day long.
Summer Series – Walking with Daedalus:
A Hands-On Introduction to Labyrinths
June 11, 18 & 25 in the Great Hall
Dan Niven and Ann Lockhart
In mythology, Daedalus was a skilled craftsman and artist, and the father of Icarus. He created the labyrinth on Crete, in which the Minotaur (part man, part bull) was kept. In the story of the labyrinth, as told by the Greeks, the Athenian hero Theseus was challenged to kill the Minotaur, finding his way out with the help of Ariadne’s thread. In our three Sunday morning series, we’ll travel through history, using as waypoints various cultures’ labyrinths, discussing their usage and aesthetics. We’ll view photos, learn to draw several types of patterns, and create full-scale temporary designs. Finally, we’ll dedicate and walk our own Epiphany labyrinth. “Solvitur ambulando-it is solved by walking.” -St. Augustine.
Ancient labyrinths. Nomenclature 101. Drawing, assembling, and walking a classical labyrinth.
13th century labyrinths. Nomenclature 102. Drawing, constructing, and walking a Chakra vyuha labyrinth.
Contemporary practices. Nomenclature 103. Dedicating and walking Epiphany’s canvas labyrinth.
Education for Ministry
June 11 in the Great Hall following the morning services
“Education for Ministry (EfM) is a unique four-year distance learning certificate program in theological education based upon small-group study and practice. Since its founding in 1975, this international program has assisted more than 80,000 participants in discovering and nurturing their call to Christian service. EfM helps the faithful encounter the breadth and depth of the Christian tradition and bring it into conversation with their experiences of the world as they study, worship, and engage in theological reflection together.” (from Sewanee: University of the South’s website)
Join other parishioners from Epiphany for study of the Bible, exploring the history of Christianity, learning about theology as it pertains to the Episcopal faith and many other faith traditions, and for a deepening of your own faith. This course meets weekly during the academic year. If you have questions, would like to look at the material, or want to sign up, please contact Diane Carlisle at email@example.com. Diane will be available during coffee hours after the morning services on June 11 in the Great Hall.
Family Movie Night – How to Train Your Dragon
June 16 at 6 pm in the Great Hall
Scrapbooking Affinity Group is Meeting Again!
June 17 at 5:30 pm in the Fireside Room
Do you have boxes of photos and memorabilia you’ve been meaning to organize? Now is your chance! Please join us for an evening of scrapbooking and fellowship. All are welcome, whether you are an accomplished scrap booker, want to organize a box of photos, work on journaling, or just come see what it’s about! Please contact Jessica Yates, (206) 931-5119, email JRYates@live.com.
Summer Concerts in July
Friday Evenings in July at 6:30 pm in the Epiphany Courtyard
Enjoy live music every Friday night in July. Bring a picnic dinner, blanket or lawn chair to this popular summer series.
Vacation Bible Camp
Message Received – Hearing God’s Call
July 10 – 14
Vacation Bible Camp (VBC) at Epiphany is a place for all ages to experience God’s love in a safe and welcoming environment. Activities include Bible storytelling, crafts, games, chapel, music, and service.
Information and online registration at epiphanyseattle.org/vbc.
Sunday Lectionary Corner
Day of Pentecost
or Numbers 11:24-30
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
or Acts 2:1-21
or John 7:37-39
Psalm 104:25-35, 37
Click here to view Prayer List