Weekly Word for March 27, 2015

March 23rd, 2015

Click here to download a PDF of the March Monthly Message.

Holy Week at Epiphany

Dear Epiphany,

Holy Week, the final week of Lent, begins with Palm Sunday and ends with the Easter Vigil celebration of the Resurrection, the heart of our faith. During this week, we are invited to give away our lives for the privilege of walking alongside Jesus.

Theologian Søren Kierkegaard explains it like this: “O Lord, Jesus Christ, you did not come to the world to be served, but also surely not to be admired or in that sense to be worshipped. You are the way and the truth—and it is followers only you did demand. Arouse us, therefore, if we have dozed away into this delusion, and save us from the error of wishing to admire you instead of being willing to follow you and to resemble you.”

Being willing to follow Jesus, and seeking to resemble Jesus, leads us down a path that twists and turns over mountains, across deserts, and through the jungles of life. We encounter brush and bramble and thorny plants at every stage along the way, and we are pricked. Blood washes across our isolation, and into the life of Christ. In his life our life is full, swollen like a tree in blossom. Resurrection is the outcome, the response to divine fullness, divine presence. And a fragrance fills the air as our lungs swell with eternal life. We breathe in and breathe out during Holy Week, no matter where we are in the landscape of our life. And the breath of God sustains us as we puff and pant along the path we tread.

Jesus tends to us, as he tended to his disciples. After washing their feet the night before his Crucifixion, Jesus tells them, “Do you know what I, your Lord and Master, have done to you? I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done” (John 13:12–15, paraphrased). These are Jesus’ words and our inspiration and imperative for Holy Week: follow Jesus.

Admittedly, I am sometimes unsure of my relationship with Jesus. I cannot always understand what he is saying to me, how he is leading me, or what he is doing in my life. I deeply desire his presence, but am not always certain where to find him. In these moments of uncertainty I simply try to do what he would do. I seek by following. Holy Week was designed for following Jesus. The liturgy guides the walk, which, during Holy Week, is called the Triduum.

Triduum is the word for the three acts of Easter. Act One is Maundy Thursday. Act Two is Good Friday. Act Three is the Easter Vigil. These three services work together as one play to express the depth, meaning, and perspective of what God has done for the world through Jesus. This service enhances our relationship with Jesus by walking the path that he has walked. I wholeheartedly encourage you to make time this Holy Week to experience the great three days of Easter. Experiencing the entire play can put us on a common path, which is part of God’s plan for this holy place we call Epiphany.

Easter Sunday then becomes the day we throw open the parish to the world. It’s the day when people who suspect that there is a bit more to life than they are living show up. And that is great! It is as it should be! This is when we have the chance to reflect the joy and peace of life lived in the light of God’s glory.

I encourage you to commit yourself to walk the Holy Week walk. It will introduce or reintroduce you to Jesus in a supernatural way, and your discipleship will be a witness to the world as you yourself are transformed. Come experience this gift.

—Doyt+

Holy Week Schedule

Click here to download the detailed Holy Week Guide for 2015.

Palm Sunday
9:30 am & 5 pm, Holy Eucharist in the Church
At our regular services, begin the journey to the Cross with a Hosanna celebration.

Monday & Tuesday
7:30 pm, Holy Eucharist in the Church*
This formal service includes incense, bells, and the ceremonies of an Anglican high church service. The homilists for these services are Elizabeth Walker (Monday) and Mike Evans (Tuesday).

Wednesday
7:30 pm Stations of the Cross in the Chapel
This service applies the Passion narrative to today’s world.

Maundy Thursday
6:30 pm, Agape Meal in the Chapel
7:30 pm, Holy Eucharist in the Church+
8:30 pm, Watchnight Vigil in the Chapel
11 pm, Psalm Chant in the Chapel

This liturgy recalls the Last Supper of Jesus on the night of his betrayal.

Good Friday
(2 pm, Holy Eucharist at Parkshore)
7:30 pm, Holy Eucharist in the Church+
8:30 pm, Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) in the Chapel
+
The Good Friday liturgy marks Christ’s crucifixion, but it is not a funeral.

The Great Easter Vigil
8 pm, Holy Eucharist in the Church*+
The Easter Eve service appeals to all the senses as we recount salvation history, celebrate baptisms, and revel in the power of God’s mercy.

Easter Sunday
9:30 am, Holy Eucharist in the Church+
10:45 am, Easter Egg Hunt
11:30 am, Holy Eucharist in the Church

* = Incense will be used in this service.
+ = Childcare will be available.

Holy Week Reflections: Bob Lee

This is the last of a series of four reflections on Holy Week written last year just after Easter. They are meant to encourage you to attend the Holy Week events taking place the week before Easter, March 29–April 4.

Please note that some of the events are different this year than you will read about in these reflections. In particular, on Monday and Tuesday (March 30 & 31) we will have sung Eucharist services with lay preachers and all the smells and bells of a traditional Anglican service. On Wednesday (April 1), we will have Stations of the Cross instead of Taizé. We hope you will be able to join us on Jesus’ journey to the Cross and to Resurrection.

Click here to view the Holy Week schedule online.
Click here to download a PDF of the Official Holy Week 2015 Guide.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As a child growing up in the mountains of northern California, Easter brought the joy of sunrise services on a hilltop overlooking Clear Lake. Nothing since has equaled the exhilaration of song to welcome the sun as it rose over the eastern hills. Christ is risen indeed! Then followed an adulthood burdened by painful discoveries, betrayals, and disappointments. I sensed I was pulling away from God, all the while thinking God was indifferent to my pain. Good Friday came to punctuate Easter as I took up company with Peter by watching Jesus at a distance. I continued to live with shame and believed God could not really love or accept me.

Intensive study, counseling, spiritual direction, and The Divine Conspiracy book discussion prepared me for Easter 2014 in a way I never anticipated. I approached Easter week without expectations or plans, remaining completely open to God’s guidance. As Easter Week began, I remained ambivalent about attending any of the five worship services, trying not to set any expectations about what I should experience. I engaged Palm Sunday as if it was just another Sunday worship. But I remained open to God’s call. On the evening of Maundy Thursday, Katie and I left home in Everett in a drenching rain, allowing over twice the normal half-hour travel time to Epiphany. The I-5 reader board screamed the news: “Seattle: 95 minutes.” We would likely be a half hour late to church and would certainly not have time for a quick snack on the way. “Let’s try St. John’s in Snohomish,” I suggested. The peaceful country church with its wise and gentle priest opened me to God’s unfathomable humility. God had invited us to turn from all that that competes with her by becoming one with us in our brokenness. God had joined me in my humanity, so how could I not bare myself by attending the remaining Easter services.

By Good Friday I knew I had left Peter in the crowd and struggled forward to sit in adoration at the feet of Jesus as he endured trial and crucifixion. Watching Jesus showed me how to triumph over betrayals and persecutions. All these years I had been seeking refuge in the pristine Easter rejoicing I had known as a child, only to now find Jesus present in the muck and torment of life. Easter Vigil at Epiphany choreographed the story of Jesus’ resurrection with such dignity that I looked within and beyond the darkness, candles, bursting light, and bells to the liberating presence of Jesus in my life and in the life of all people. Easter Sunday brought time to reflect and to discover how Jesus knits together our separate lives. Katie and I were responsible for ushering, squeezing the overflow crowd into the balcony, and participating in the hope of Easter sought by so many familiar and unfamiliar faces. I sensed everyone present knew that all our wounds and broken trust are indeed united and redeemed in the triumph of the risen Christ.

—Bob Lee

Bring a Dish to the Agape Meal

On Thursday, April 2, we celebrate Maundy Thursday as part of Holy Week. It’s the night we recall the Last Supper of Jesus on the night of his betrayal, and celebrate Holy Hospitality. Before the Eucharist service, we will share an Agape Meal together at 6:30 pm in the Chapel. The Agape Meal dates to apostolic times and is a simple meal of soup, bread, cheese, olives, and fruit. Parishioners are asked to bring a dish to share as a testament of our Christian love for each other.

Sign up to bring a soup or side by contacting the Parish Office by March 31. No sweets or alcohol, please.

An Update from the Building Team

Dear Epiphany,

The latest challenge in the construction phase surrounds the bay window in the Fireside Room. We knew that the cast stone supports on the corners of the window were compromised, and had planned to repair them. As we took those corner pieces off, it became clear that the steel structure inside them was failing too. This requires us to perform a much more extensive renovation of that window. It will take several weeks to fabricate new cast stone pieces, and so it’s likely that completion of the Fireside Room will occur after Phase 1 is otherwise finished.

The Building Team is meeting with a variety of stakeholders one last time to be sure that we are meeting their design needs before sending Phase 2 out for bids. For Phase 2, most of those stakeholders are members of the Parish Staff (i.e., Liturgy Team, Music Directors, Verger) but include the Altar Guild and Sacristans too. Details of the lighting, plumbing, and electrical designs are being finalized as well.

We continue to discuss the design of the Chapel organ with Martin Pasi, a process that will continue through the summer. Recently, we had a fascinating meeting with Martin and our structural engineer to discuss how the organ is anchored to the floor; a conversation that is necessary in our seismically active location.

—Ben Bradstreet

The Next 100 Years Building Team
Ed Emerson, Laura Blackmore, Bob Barnes, Jim Marlow, Ben Bradstreet
Contact the Building Team at 100yearproject@epiphanyseattle.org.

Get building updates, construction schedules, and floor plans at our website www.epiphanyseattle.org/renovation.

Parish Prayer List

Click here to download this week’s Parish Prayer List.

Sunday Lectionary Corner

March 29, 2015
Palm Sunday
Isaiah 50:4–9a
Psalm 31:9–16
Philippians 2:5–11
Mark 14:1–15:47

Upcoming Events in the Life of Epiphany

Click here to view the calendar on the website!

This Week at Epiphany

March 28 & 29: Children’s Clothing Exchange
Are you kids growing out of their clothes? Bring them to the Epiphany Formation Office (2nd floor, Christie House) to be sorted for the children’s clothing exchange this weekend. And on Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 1 pm in the EELP classrooms under the Church, pick up “new” clothes that fit! Even if you don’t donate anything, feel free to come anyway. Anything that is not claimed will be donated to Wellspring Family Services.

March 29: Adult Forum – Introduction to Pilgrimage-in-Place
Ann Lockhart and Holly Boone will discuss the plan for a home-town pilgrimage that will serve as a counterpart to the pilgrimages Doyt will be taking along the Camino de Santiago and the youth group will be taking to the Holy Land. Click here for more info.

March 29: Deadline for Easter Baskets
Help children at the YWCA celebrate Easter! You can purchase a pre-filled basket or fill one yourself with fun things like toys, candy, books, hygiene items, socks, or learning supplies. Baskets can be for any age, boy or girl (range $15-$20). Drop off your basket this Sunday!

MARCH 29–APRIL 4: HOLY WEEK 2015
From Palm Sunday to Easter Vigil, follow Jesus on his journey to the Cross and to Resurrection. Get the complete schedule and the official Holy Week Guide here.

Events Down the Road

April 5: EASTER SUNDAY
Holy Eucharist Services at 9:30 & 11:30 am. With unbridled festivity, we pull out all the stops in our liturgy and music. We’re asking regular attenders to park far away to make room for our guests.
Easter Egg Hunt at 10:45 am. Children (toddlers through 5th grade) will be divided by age group for the annual Easter egg hunt on campus. We will begin once parents join children after the 9:30 am service. Easter bags with handles will be available.

April 5: Sabbatical Send-off and Blessing for the Conn Family
Gather in the courtyard after the last Easter service to celebrate and bless the Conn family as they begin their sabbatical adventure. The party, which will start about 1 pm will be short, sweet, and significant. Come find out more about their sabbatical activities and the congregation’s own participation in pilgrimage here at home. Sparkling beverages and Emerald City Cake Balls will be served. Contact Julie Moberly with questions.

April 16: Animate Your Faith Series
If you weren’t able to participate in the Animate series during Lent, we’re offering it one more time after Easter, to be facilitated by Emily Linderman. Join us on Thursday evenings at 6:15 pm for a discussion of some of the biggest questions of faith. It’s $20 to register. Click here for more information.

Pilgrimage-in-Place 2015
Throughout the rest of spring and summer, the parish is invited to participate in community activities and spiritual practices that will serve as a counterpart to Doyt’s pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago. As the are planned Pilgrimage-in-Place events will be posted at epiphany.org/pilgrimage-in-place.

Community Events

April 18: Cathedral Day at St. Mark’s
Join us for a day of fun for all ages at your Cathedral. All are invited to gather together in community for fellowship and fun, learning and liturgy and a chance to reach across the Diocese and meet fellow members. Tickets are only $5 with a BBQ lunch included, as well as an opportunity to dunk the Bishop! Click here to register.

May 30: Baseball with the Bishop
Join Bishop Rickel and your fellow Episcopalians for a night of baseball and family fun at Cheney Stadium and to watch the Tacoma Rainiers beat the Round Rock Express. Enjoy a pregame buffet in the Backyard BBQ pavilion, located at the end of the first base concourse, at 4 pm. The game starts at 5:05 pm. Tickets are $25.50 and available here.