For Lent I have entered into the spiritual exercise of the Examen. Ruth Anne piqued my interested in this practice with the Examen experience she has made available to us all on each Friday in Lent at 5:30 PM. Until Ruth Anne showed up, I had never given much thought to the Examen. Maybe you haven’t either. In fact, maybe you don’t even know what the Examen is. Had you asked me six months ago, I couldn’t have told you much about it myself. Today, however, I’m a little more informed. St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuit religious order, developed a type of spiritual direction, recommended to his followers, where. in the evening, they reviewed their day, and the next morning, recommitted to the amendment of life they had made the night before. In this way, they sought to shed the habits of thinking and acting that shielded them from the divine light of God and with renewed devotion worked to become more the person God intended them to be.
I am no Jesuit, so have not adopted the twice-a-day Examen model. I have, however, taken on an evening Examen. The thought of adding a spiritual exercise to the end of my day, at first, seemed daunting. As you know, I’m an early morning prayer and Bible reading guy, and my days that start at 4:30 AM usually end with lights out as soon as possible. But, the addition of the Examen and a few other practices, has allowed me to commit to the Examen each evening with success. What has been helpful, as a matter of full disclosure, is I have also given up alcohol for Lent. The absence of the glass of wine or scotch or beer after work has made me aware of how that only added to my fatigue at the end of the day. The other thing I have found is that the Examen allows me to sleep better than I generally do. It is a spiritual exercise that unwinds the experiences of the day and not only gives them over to God, but sanctifies them as well.
Here is how it works:
BEGIN – Find a quiet place. Set an alarm on your phone for however much time you want to dedicate to the exercise. I’m at about twenty-five minutes. Light a candle or set a sacred object in your presence, if you wish.
CENTER SELF – Begin with some deep breaths that center your body in the space. Relax. When you are ready, begin thinking back on your day.
DIVISIONS OF DAY – The pattern of reflection divides your day into three parts: awaking to lunch; through lunch to dinner; through dinner to the moment of the Examen.
FACTS – The first time through these sections of your day is all about the facts. When did you wake up? How long did you lay in bed? What was the weather like? What did you first do? Who did you meet? What did you eat? What else did you? What random people or events wandered through your day?
FEELINGS – Now go through the day again in the same way, but this time pay attention to the feelings, negative or positive, that came up. Wonder about them With continued practice of the Examen, if you’re like me, you’ll begin to see patterns emerge.
THE HOLY SPIRIT – Finally, go back through you day one more time. This time, look for the Holy Spirit. When did she break in? Where did she indwell? Who did she speak through? Did she sing to you through a song on the radio or a breeze in the air?
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING – Having gone through these three reviews of you day: having first reviewed the facts, then the feelings, and finally the divine blessings, say a prayer of thanksgiving to God. You could use the General Thanksgiving on page 836 of the Book of Common Prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, or your own prayer of gratitude.
AMENDMENT OF LIFE – If you like, take a post-it note and in a word or sentence write an intention for an amendment of life based on your Examen. Put it on your bathroom mirror, or on your desk, or on your coffee cup, so that you enter the next day with this intention set upon your heart.
What I have come to experience in the Examen is, I sense, a bit of what God perceives my life to be. God sees my facts; God sees my interior responses; and God knows the moments when God tried to reach in and say, “Here I am.”
The Examen ties me a little bit more to the God that loves me and sets me in the context of this life with intent and purpose. God loves you as well and has set you here in the context of your life with intent and purpose.
And so, I invite you to consider the Examen; maybe with Ruth Anne on Fridays, or maybe on your own. If you do choose to meet up with Ruth Anne, you’ll note her style has a more broad order than what I outlined. That is as it should be with prayer, it takes on the presence of the person praying.
May this Lent be a holy blessing upon your life.
The Haiti Micah Project: See for Yourself this April
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Your financial support of the nonprofit organizations featured at Epiphany’s recent Have a Heart fundraiser does make a difference in the world. This April you have an opportunity to see for yourself how one of them, The Haiti Micah Project, changes the lives of desperately poor children in the city of Mirebalais, a town of 9,000 about an hour and a half drive from Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
The Rev. Joseph Constant, President and Founder of The Haiti Micah Project, invites Epiphany parishioners to join him and members of St. Thomas Episcopal Church of Sun Valley, Idaho, as they travel April 25 through May 1 to visit the various ministries of The Haiti Micah Project. These include a group home for orphaned and at-risk children, a vocational school for older youths, a community feeding program, and water treatment center. Group members will have opportunities to serve meals and provide other support to many of the 450 children cared for through the The Haiti Micah Project.
Roundtrip air fare from Seattle on American Airlines is approximately $750 (main cabin). Comprehensive in-country travel costs are estimated to be around $800 to $1000. Travelers would need to depart Seattle April 24 to join up with Father Constant’s group in Miami the next morning for the 10:50 AM American Airlines flight to Port-au-Prince.
If this invitation piques your interest, please contact Holly Boone (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more trip details. For compelling stories about Haiti Micah’s care for the children of Mirebalais, visit its web site at http://haiti-micah.org/
Father Joseph Constant, President of The Haiti Micah Project, is a fellow seminarian and good friend of Epiphany’s Rector, The Rev. Doyt L. Conn, Jr.
The Haiti Micah Project’s group home provides 24-hour loving care for thirty orphaned or at-risk children.
…We need over 1,000 Easter Eggs stuffed with candy for our annual Holy Saturday Easter Egg hunt and we are looking for help from the entire congregation. Look for the stuffing table in the Great Hall during brunch on March 4 and during coffee hours in March, come over, and stuff a few. We will also gladly take candy donations (No nuts, please!) Questions? Ask Laura Sargent, email@example.com.
Sunday Services – 7:30 am, 8:45 am, 11 am & 5 pm
March 7 at 5:30 pm in the Chapel
The homilist: Elizabeth Walker
The Examen: Contemplative Prayer Practice
March 2 at 5:30 pm in the Chapel/Christie House Library
Followed by a simple meal of soup and bread in the Christie House Library.
The Examen: Contemplative Prayer Practice
Fridays in Lent: March 2 through 23 at 5:30 pm
Followed by a simple meal of soup and bread.
The season of Lent is a season of preparation for the miraculous and life-changing resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our Lenten work then is reason to start again, return to those things that open us to Christ’s working in us, and, when we fall short, to begin again. And again and again. St. Ignatius of Loyola believed that we were called to find God in all things and at all times, so he never included specific times for prayer in the Jesuit Rule of Life. Rather, in his Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius urged us to have a personal relationship with Jesus by opening ourselves to the presence of God throughout our day. And, at day’s end, St. Ignatius taught us to pray The Examen, from the Latin word for examination, which leads believers in a contemplative practice of reviewing our day in the presence of Christ. While there are many versions of the Examen today, all are based on five steps:
1. Placing yourself in God’s presence and giving thanks for God’s great love for you
2. Praying for the grace to see how and where God is acting in your life
3. Reviewing your day and whatever specific experiences come to mind
4. Reflecting on your thoughts, actions, or words in these instances
5. Looking forward to tomorrow and how you might want to do things differently
March 7, 14, and 21 at 5:30 pm
According to The Book of Common Prayer, “The Holy Eucharist, the principal act of Christian worship on the Lord’s Day…and Daily Morning and Evening Prayer, as set forth in this book, are the regular services appointed for public worship in this Church.”
On Wednesdays during Lent, we have an Evening Prayer service at 5:30 pm. At these services, we use the daily Eucharistic readings to keep us grounded in the themes of this holy season. We also invite members of the parish to present homilies.
The homilists are:
March 7 – Elizabeth Walker
March 14 – Ryan Klein
March 21 – Diana Bender
Epiphany Quiet Day for Lent
March 10 | 1 to 6 pm
Spend a few hours allowing your soul to rest in this holy place as we engage in the season of Lent. This is our season to look deeply into our dark corners and consider how we might turn back more fully toward God, preparing ourselves for the more full and rich life available to us in the Kingdom of God. Spend some time in prayer; come sit, read, or meditate in the quiet. Be still and seek God’s will for your life through guided meditation, Visio Divina, prayer exercises, walking the Labyrinth, or playing with art materials.
All are welcome.
Schedule of Events
1 pm: Welcome & instructions for the day
1–5:30 pm: Prayer Mandalas, Visio Divina, Labyrinth in the chapel, full use of the Icon Prayer Room, various art media, journaling. Mid-afternoon there will be a guided Meditation with Pieter Drummond.
5:30 pm: Evening Prayer with Taizé chant
Light snacks and beverages will be available throughout the day. The schedule is self directed. Come and go as you wish and enjoy the day.
Donate the the Easter Flower Fund
This Easter Sunday, the highest celebration of our Christian year, you can remember a special person or event by donating towards our Altar Flower Fund. Perhaps you would like to acknowledge the birth of a baby, or a marriage, or a loved one now departed. You may donate towards one or more lilies, but you are not limited to Easter. Any date during the year we can decorate the altar with a floral arrangement on the Sunday closest to that date.
Complete the attached form and send your check to the church office or add it to the collection plate. Remember that during Advent and Lent only greens are used on the altar.
Thank you for your consideration of the Altar Flower Fund.
PLEASE COMPLETE THE ATTACHED FORM AND RETURN
TO THE CHURCH OFFICE BY WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28.
March 4 | 6 pm | Doyt’s House
Here at Epiphany, it is a goal of our community to truly welcome those that God sends us. If you are a newcomer to Epiphany and are interested in meeting other newcomers, ministry leaders, and getting more involved, we hope that you will give us an opportunity to welcome you and get to know you better at our Newcomers’ Reception at Doyt’s house! Please join us after the evening service on Sunday, March 4th at 6pm. Beverages and appetizers will be provided. On-site supervision will be available for children! For more information and to RSVP, please contact Ruth Anne García at
Help YWCA shelter kids celebrate Easter by giving them an Easter basket!
You can purchase a pre-filled basket or fill one yourself with fun things like toys, candy, books, hygiene needs, socks, or learning supplies.
If you make your own please wrap it in cellophane so it will stay intact.
Baskets can be for any age, boy or girl (range $15 – $20). Each basket will make a difference to a child in need. Drop off by Sunday, March 25 at 11:00 am service.
Questions? Contact Sherilyn Peterson, firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 322-2831.
Get together with fellow parishioners and enjoy a delicious Sunday brunch. Catch up with old friends, meet new friends. March’s brunch will be hosted by the Service and Outreach Ministry and cooked by Chinn Eap, Sarah Phongsavanh, and Amy Tullis. See you there!
Paul Galbraith, Classical Guitar
March 11 | 6:15 pm | Church
Grammy nominee and billboard “top ten” artist Paul Galbraith returns to Seattle but this time for his debut concert at Epiphany Parish.
“Internationally renowned as a brilliant innovator of the classical guitar, Paul Galbraith has been working since the 1980s towards expanding the technical limits of his instrument, besides augmenting the quantity and quality of its repertoire. These efforts have already resulted in a series of critically acclaimed recordings of works by Bach, Haydn, and Brahms, along with his own arrangements of folk tunes from various countries, all of which demonstrate the originality of his musical personality. By exchanging the traditional guitar for the eight-string Brahms Guitar, which he helped to develop, Galbraith found the ideal instrument with which to interpret the challenging Classical transcriptions from his highly personal repertoire.”
We invite you to join us in welcoming Paul to Epiphany Parish on Sunday evening, March 11 at 6.15 pm. All are most welcome, and admission is, as always, FREE – sponsored by gracious support of the Epiphany Seattle Music Guild..
SAVE THE DATE!
Epiphany Vacation Bible Camp
July 9-13, 2018 from 1-4 pm
Registration information coming soon!
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