Where we go, body and soul
A reflection by Holly Boone
When I was in graduate school in Iowa City, I used to ride my bike to an old cemetery on the outskirts of town. It was a quiet expanse of grass and great, gloomy cedar trees and the overwrought marble of Victorian headstones. I would walk around and read the names and dates on the tombstones and imagine the lives that had come to rest here where I walked a century later.
One section of the cemetery seemed to be set aside for Irish immigrants, almost certainly Catholic and therefore prevented from mingling, even dead, with Protestant “Americans.” I was fascinated with their Irish names and the fact that every stone told not only the dates of birth and death, but also the county in Ireland in which the dead were born. Born in County Clare. Born in County Galway. Born in County Kerry. Born in County Donegal. Born in County Tipperary.
Were the ties to their home so strong that the dead wanted to announce where they really belonged? Even dead, were they homesick? Were the dead boasting that they had come so far from the little hungry cottages where they were born? Look how far I have come in this world.
Visiting that old cemetery was one of my first encounters with the idea that our lives are really the story of getting from Point A to Point B. Or Point B (birth) to Point D (death). The hyper mobility characteristic of the last and this century means that most of us will die far from where we were born. I was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and will probably die here in Seattle. How I got to Seattle is the story of my mortal life, and how I got to Epiphany is the story of my eternal soul. Souls, too, travel great distances.
Sometimes the soul may seem to drift without conscious thought or action on our part. But mostly I think the soul travels to a place of new maturity and closeness with God only when the heart yearns to go there. Feeling that urge, people across all cultures and religions tend to set out upon the road as pilgrims. Pilgrimage, you might say, is a deliberate moving of the body so that the heart and soul, too, travel to new and wondrous places. There are now under way a number of activities at Epiphany to help your body, heart and soul do just that—what we are calling the Pilgrimage-in-Place.
This summer in June and July, you can also take part in activities that are meant to bring us out into the community and into deeper relationship with ourselves, our souls, and with each other. We will follow Doyt’s sabbatical trek on the Way of St. James, the Camino, across northern Spain. We will take walks together in various neighborhoods of Seattle and nearby communities. We will walk labyrinths. We will have parish movie nights to watch films about pilgrimage, including The Wizard of Oz, and The Way, Emilio Estevez’s film about walking the Camino, starring his father Martin Sheen. We will visit the food bank at the East Cherry YWCA, which is supported in part by the donations you put in the Hunger Basket each Sunday on your way up to the altar for communion. We’ll also visit other ministry partners: Wellspring Family Services, Teen Feed, and Operation Nightwatch.
Please check the special Pilgrimage page of the parish website and the Weekly Word for the latest information about these events. There will also be a table wherever we are worshipping on Sundays with information about neighborhood events and resources to borrow.
Join us. Move your body. Move your heart and soul to new and wondrous places.
Fr. Joseph Constant Visits Epiphany on June 28
You’ll want to make sure to attend church on Sunday, June 28—no lingering over the coffee in your pajamas! Father Joseph Constant, Doyt’s good friend from seminary, will be preaching that Sunday at both services. In addition to being a compelling preacher (according to those who’ve heard him preach several years ago at Epiphany), Father Constant is founder of the Haiti Micah Project. He will speak at that morning’s Forum about its mission to provide basic needs, medical care, and education to the poorest of poor children rescued from the streets of Haiti. The Haiti Micah Project is one of the international ministries our parish supports financially—come hear how your donations give hope and a future to children who would otherwise have neither.
Extended Meditation Hours
Pieter Drummond has added another time slot for guided meditation on Wednesday and Friday mornings. In addition to meditating at 8:30–9 am, you can now meditate at 7:45–8:15 am as well. Feel free to come to one or both sessions. Meditation is meeting in the Church for now, but will move when the Church closes on May 31.
Baptisms on Pentecost
Next Sunday, May 24, is Pentecost, the birthday of the Church! In keeping with tradition, we invite you to wear red to signify the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples as tongues of flame. You are also invited to bring a dozen red cupcakes to share at Coffee Hour after the 9:30 am service and at Social Hour after the 5 pm service. Baptisms will take place at the 9:30 am service in the Church.
Parish Prayer List
Click here to download this week’s prayer list.
The staff went through the prayer list this week; if we have removed anyone’s name in error, please contact the Parish Office, and we will put their name back on.
Sunday Lectionary Corner
May 17, 2015
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Upcoming Events in the Life of Epiphany
This Week at Epiphany
May 19: 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 at 6:30 pm in the Christie House Library 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 at email@example.com.
Events Down the Road
June 1: Church Closes for Renovation
Even though the Parish Hall will not be completed, our contractor, Lease Crutcher Lewis, will begin working on the Church on June 1, and the building will most likely be closed through November. Worship services on Trinity Sunday (May 31) will be at 9:30 am in the Church and 5 pm in the Chapel. Beginning on June 7 we will temporarily worship in the Epiphany School Gym. For a complete schedule of worship times and spaces throughout construction, click here.
June 4: Pilgrimage-in-Place – Plymouth Labyrinth
Walk the labyrinth at Plymouth UCC in downtown Seattle (1217 Sixth Ave). We’ll meet at Plymouth between 11 am and 11:30 am, walk the labyrinth, and then have lunch together at a nearby restaurant of the group’s choice. Contact Ann Lockhart if you’d like to participate. Read more about the Pilgrimage-in-Place here.
June 7: Pilgrimage-in-Place – Ignatian Prayer Exercises
Come learn about the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola on Sunday, June 7, at 5:15 pm in the Formation Office in Christie House. This event can count toward our parish’s pilgrimage miles for the summer. Read more about the Pilgrimage-in-Place here.
June 9: Calendar Meeting
At our regular staff meeting on Tuesday, June 9, at 11:15 am in the Christie House Library, we will be putting all the regular events of the 2015-2016 program year onto the master calendar. All parishioners are invited to join us to get a sense of what the next year will look like in the life of Epiphany. RSVP to Emily if you would like to attend.
June 14: Newcomers Event
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. RSVP to the Parish Office.
May 19: No Limits, No Boundaries – Disability Awareness
SPU’s Center for Learning is hosting guest speaker State Senator Cyrus Habib of the 48th legislative district on Tuesday, May 19, at 6:30 pm in Upper Qwinn Commons at SPU. Read more about this distinguished politician and lawyer here.
May 30: Abbey Arts Presents CATHEDRALS X
The Fremont Abbey Arts Center is hosting 10 artists from local indie bands to sing acapella at St. Mark’s Cathedral on Saturday, May 3, at 8 pm. The concert is open seating and all ages. Read more and buy tickets here.